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Published On: Sat, Dec 17th, 2016

Zika vaccine survey: More than 40 percent would not be interested

As scientists race to create a vaccine for the Zika virus, new research from the University of Georgia suggests almost half of Americans wouldn’t be interested in getting the shot even if public health officials recommended it for them.

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Only one in three people in an October 2016 nationally representative survey said they would be willing to get a Zika shot if one were available and recommended. More than two out of five respondents said they would not be interested in getting a Zika vaccine, and another quarter were undecided on the question.

One possible explanation for people’s hesitancy to accept a future Zika vaccine is the newness of the vaccine, said Glen Nowak, the lead researcher and director of the Center for Health and Risk Communication in UGA’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. The center focuses on health and risk communication-related research, teaching and service.

“The word ‘new’ in front of a vaccine doesn’t work as well as when you put ‘new’ in front of laundry detergent,” he said. “Many people interpret ‘new’ consumer products as things that are better and improved, and thus worth trying. When you put ‘new’ in front of ‘vaccine,’ people think experimental or that there’s not enough experience with it, and they take a ‘wait and see’ approach.”

Read more at University of Georgia

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