Vaccination Situation: a History of Vaccine Refusal in the United States and Vaccine Beliefs at the University of Mississippi

Vitale, Austin (2016) Vaccination Situation: a History of Vaccine Refusal in the United States and Vaccine Beliefs at the University of Mississippi. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of Melissa Bass from Public Policy Leadership, University of Mississippi.

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The goals of this research were to trace a narrative of vaccine refusal in the United States from the nation’s inception to the present day and identify any impact or influence from refusal ideology on vaccine beliefs of University of Mississippi undergraduates. A review of historical literature regarding vaccine refusal in the United States developed a historical narrative, and a quantitative survey was utilized to identify the vaccine beliefs of a University of Mississippi sample. Three distinct eras of vaccine refusal were detailed, with the third (present) era distinguished by the use of the internet to spread anti-vaccine ideologies. The survey consisted of two parts: a series of yes/no questions to determine views on vaccine issues and 15 vaccine related statements on a Likert scale. These questions were based WHO recommendations. The survey was developed using Qualtrics and distributed to a University Mississippi sample of 5,000 students stratified for gender, ethnicity, and classification via email. The 315 valid responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics and chi-squared tests. No correlation was found between demographic information and responses, students indicated mostly pro-vaccine beliefs, and vaccine beliefs appeared to occur in groups indicative of broad, ideologies instead of issues-based responses. The University of Mississippi student sample was more pro-vaccine than national samples and appeared resistant to sources of vaccine information besides their health care providers. Understanding these results provide opportunities to improve vaccine education nationally and in Mississippi.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: Vitale, Austin
Student's Degree Program(s): B.A. in Public Policy Leadership and English
Thesis Advisor: Melissa Bass
Thesis Advisor's Department: Public Policy Leadership
Institution: University of Mississippi
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Depositing User: Austin Vitale
Date Deposited: 13 May 2016 19:03
Last Modified: 13 May 2016 19:03

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