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 Nanoparticles as a Solution against Antibiotic Resistance?
15.12.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests
14.12.2017 | Aalto University

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: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Diamond Lenses and Space Lasers at Photonics West

15.12.2017 | Trade Fair News

A better way to weigh millions of solitary stars

15.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New epidemic management system combats monkeypox outbreak in Nigeria

15.12.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>