Differences in vaccination patterns: applying the diffusion of innovation theory

  • K. Eritsyan
  • N. Antonova


Background: The diffusion of innovations theory (Rogers, 1995) currently in empirical studies of vaccination behavior is being applied primarily for studying the new vaccines uptake. However this theory might be applicable to the issue of vaccination refusal which might be considered a behavioral innovation. Methods: A telephone survey of a representative sample of the population of St. Petersburg (Russia) (N = 1175) was used to test hypotheses about the influence of vaccine refuse strategy visibility on vaccination decisions. Study was funded by Saint Petersburg State University (# Respondents were asked about their vaccination patterns, awareness of anti-vaccination ideas and acquaintance with people who refuse vaccination. Hypothetic scenario of new vaccine intention was also presented and respondents were asked to make a decision about its use for themselves and their children. Findings: Among St. Petersburg parents 4.2% (CI 95% 1.8% - 6.7%) didn’t vaccinate their child with any vaccine despite absence of medical contraindications. 15.4% of parents said that their younger child is incompletelyvaccinated. Those people could be considered as innovators or early accepters. Majority of respondents (68.6%) are familiar with anti-vaccination ideas and 51.3% personally know people who refuse vaccination. Familiarity with anti-vaccination ideas wasn’t connected with vaccination behavior and vaccination decision. However knowing personally the people who refuse vaccination decrease intention to have vaccination in hypothetic scenario (AOR=0.58; p≤0.001) as well as vaccinate a hypothetic child (AOR=0.33; p≤0.01). Discussion: Diffusion of innovation theory is highly applicable for studying the vaccination refusals.
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