Vaccination Research Group Student Reflections on Research

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  • Diversity and Vaccine Controversy
    Frempong, Erica (Virginia Tech, 2010)
    My area of research dealt with many different aspects of the vaccine movement, the main three were: anti-vaccine sentiments over the Internet, global instances of anti-vaccination efforts, and differences in social class and race in vaccine utilization. I have come to realize that there are two distinct issues arising in the organization that encompasses vaccines. The distinctions are the anti-vaccine movement - the spread of anti-vaccine sentiments over the Internet, and global instances of anti-vaccination efforts, and limited vaccine resources and availability - socioeconomic and race discrepancies. I will focus my summary mainly on the anti-vaccine movement and briefly touch on the issue of vaccine availability.
  • Anti-Vaccination Movement
    Chapman, Jonathan (Virginia Tech, 2010-03-13)
    The current anti-vaccination movements that have established themselves in the United States as well as other regions in the world are like a hydra of discourse. Right when one effective measure is created to convince people to vaccinate two more anti-vaccination movements sprout up in its place. These anti-vaccination movements are driven by cultural beliefs, ideologies, medical exemption laws, non-medical exemption laws, distrust of the government, distrust of large pharmaceutical companies, denialism and so on. These antivaccination movements also have developed many methods of distributing their beliefs to the masses. The internet is a huge resource for these anti-vaccination movements and allows them, with relative ease, to get their anti-vaccination message out to a large number of people. Postcards, newspaper, magazines, journals, and pamphlets are other widely used resources for spreading antivaccination information to the general public. If the U.S. wants any chance of gaining the upper hand on this growing anti-vaccination movement in the 21st century it too must use the internet to create positive vaccination rhetoric that reaches the masses. This rhetoric must specifically focus its positive vaccination messages towards these specific anti-vaccination groups to pinpoint and alleviate their expressed concerns.
  • The Autism Vaccine Scare
    Cobert, Lauren (Virginia Tech, 2010)
    The main goal of vaccination is to stop the spread of communicable diseases. Maintaining a herd vaccination rate of ~90% is how WHO controls outbreaks of preventable infectious diseases. However, the autism vaccine scare of the late 1990s compromises herd immunity rates, as isolated outbreaks of measles, mumps and hepatitis occur as a result of a widespread vaccine boycott. This paper identifies key events and lay interpretations that develop during this awkward, unsure time.
  • The Influence of Government and Media on Vaccination Opinions
    Smith, Carly (Virginia Tech, 2010-05-10)
    Multitudes of vaccines have been produced since the introduction of the very first against smallpox. Some saw success while others were failures. No matter the vaccine, though, there are always those who resist for one reason or another. Through my research, I have found a couple common threads that link all vaccines in the way public opinion is influenced...
  • Vaccine Controversy Medical Oversight
    Casady, Megan (Virginia Tech, 2010)
    The anti-vaccination movement has gained significant influence because of its extremely diverse underlying support. From distrust of governmental policies regarding vaccination to scientific data that seemingly proves the dangers of vaccination, the discourses are able to reach and impact a large number of the public. My research this semester focused on the expansion of recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concerning the seasonal influenza vaccine, the vaccine industry as a whole, and scientific literature relating vaccinations and adverse effects.
  • Media and the Public Perceptions of Vaccines
    Trebach, Joshua; Soppet, Kelsey; Sozer, Aubrey (Virginia Tech, 2011)
    People are exposed to the media’s influence from early on in life. Media here refers to all the types of technology that are used for mass communication (Internet, newspapers, radio, etc.) and those that control the technology. The primary media used to influence people concerning vaccination are public health publications, antivaccination websites, medically-related television shows, and Web 2.0 interfaces. We explored these media with respect to the public perceptions of vaccines and vaccination.