Project

Public Trust in Vaccines

Overview

Vaccines represent a significant scientific triumph and remain a powerful tool for preventive childhood health. As the communal health benefits of vaccination rely upon high rates of immunization coverage, lapses in coverage caused by lack of acceptance can have severe consequences for society. The erosion of public trust in vaccines reduces the effectiveness of vaccination programs and presents potentially severe public health consequences for communities worldwide.

Public attitudes toward immunization recommendations are complex, informed by a variety of sources, and anchored by ethics, customs, and values. In order to craft evidence-based communication strategies that will improve public understanding of vaccines, this Academy initiative examined what research is needed to better understand how public perceptions of childhood vaccines are formed. This work was undertaken by a multidisciplinary committee of experts drawn from medicine, behavioral science, communications, science history, and journalism.

People

People

Chair

Edgar Marcuse

Seth Mnookin

Staff

John Randell

John E. Bryson Director of Science, Engineering, and Technology Programs Senior Program Director and Advisor to the President
Publications

Publications

News & Updates

News & Updates

Project Outcomes

Project Outcomes

Project chairs Barry Bloom, Edgar Marcuse, and Seth Mnookin co-authored an editorial in Science, “Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy” and the NBC News story, “Measles Cases Surge in U.S., Fueled By Unvaccinated Travelers,” mentioned the Academy’s report, Public Trust in Vaccines: Defining a Research Agenda.

The project was one of the first to develop an agenda for research to understand the issues underlying trust or confidence in vaccines. The report played an important role in catalyzing foundation and government support for a broad research program to understand how decisions are made regarding vaccines and trust in the science behind them.