Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Availability of vaccine no guarantee public will want it

01.12.2009
Just because a vaccine is available doesn't mean people will choose to be inoculated, according to new UofT research published amid widespread public confusion around the merit of H1N1 flu shots.

The research – which looked at acceptability of potential future HIV vaccinations among high-risk adults in Los Angeles – shows many factors come into play when a person is deciding whether or not be vaccinated.

"As we can see in the current climate of confusion around H1N1 flu shots, the availability of a vaccination alone is not enough to encourage people to be inoculated," says lead author Peter A. Newman, associate professor at UofT's Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work and Canada Research Chair in Health and Social Justice. "Our study shows the same holds true when it comes to potential HIV vaccines down the road. Even in the case of a safe and highly effective vaccine, there are a plethora of factors that impact peoples' decisions."

To determine what factors would make a vaccine "acceptable" to individuals at-risk of contracting HIV, Newman and his team gave each of 1,100 participants a set of nine cards outlining theoretical HIV vaccines. Each card described a theoretical HIV vaccine with a different combination of characteristics, including vaccine effectiveness, cost and side effects. Participants were then asked to rate the "acceptability" of each vaccine according to what vaccine characteristics were most and least important to them.

The team found a moderate level of acceptability for a future HIV vaccine – 55 on a 100-point scale. But while the moderate level of acceptability is positive, Newman says their results indicate that not everyone – including those in high-risk communities – would automatically accept an HIV vaccine in the event that one was developed.

The factors that most influenced participants' acceptance of the theoretical vaccines were efficacy (how effective a vaccine would be against HIV) followed by side effects and cost. The team also found that about 10 percent of at-risk adults might increase their sexual risk behaviours – such as not using condoms – if vaccinated against HIV.

"Merely having a vaccine available doesn't mean it gets to the people who need it – a fact that is evidenced by the issues we're seeing now around H1N1 vaccines," says Newman. "If we want HIV vaccines to be acceptable and accessible to people, we need to consider all of these factors before we have a safe and relatively effective vaccine on the market."

Education is key, says Newman. People need to trust that a vaccine is good and will be effective. They need to understand in lay terms how it works. They need to know what scientists mean when they talk about a vaccine's efficacy, and they need to know they shouldn't increase their risk behaviours simply because they're being vaccinated. Initial HIV vaccines may be only partially effective in preventing HIV infection; they may be a great addition to existing prevention methods, but not a replacement.

The research also indicates that governments should consider how to subsidize vaccines to make sure they are affordable to those who are least able to pay.

Newman says the study provides a template that should be replicated in the developing world, which carries 95 percent of the global HIV burden.

"In order to ensure future HIV vaccines are acceptable to those who need them, we must start acting now," says Newman. "Formative research that aims to anticipate and address consumer preferences and larger challenges in the introduction of new health and prevention technologies is a cost-effective means to promote success."

For more information on the study, appearing in the December edition of Health Services Research, please contact:

Peter A. Newman, lead author: p.newman@utoronto.ca

April Kemick, media relations officer: 416-978-5949 or april.kemick@utoronto.ca

April Kemick | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utoronto.ca

Further reports about: Availability H1N1 HIV HIV vaccine Social Impacts health services

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

nachricht Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>