Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Availability of vaccine no guarantee public will want it

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:

April Kemick, media relations officer: 416-978-5949 or

April Kemick | EurekAlert!
Further information:

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

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

nachricht New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington

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: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>