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Social Marketing May Improve Vaccination Rates

Last Updated: May 05, 2009.

Social marketing designed to appeal to emotion may be an effective strategy to encourage parents hesitant about immunization to immunize their children, according to a study in the May issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. In a related study, giving the first dose of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine earlier may reduce invasive pneumococcal disease.

TUESDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) -- Social marketing designed to appeal to emotion may be an effective strategy to encourage parents hesitant about immunization to immunize their children, according to a study in the May issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. In a related study, giving the first dose of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine earlier may reduce invasive pneumococcal disease.

In the first study, Douglas J. Opel, M.D., from Seattle Children's Hospital, and colleagues examined whether social marketing could improve vaccination rates among children whose parents have claimed an exemption from immunization regulations. Noting that Washington state ranks 46th among states in immunization rates, they describe a social marketing program currently under development designed to appeal to emotion that would use strategies such as dispelling myths and using trusted spokespeople.

In the second study, Jennifer M. Stancil, M.D., and colleagues from Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., used a prediction model to determine whether giving the first dose of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine at 6 weeks of age rather than 2 months of age to 759,739 infants would be beneficial. They estimated that invasive pneumococcal disease could have been reduced by 39.9 to 72.1 percent depending on vaccine efficacy in infants 61 to 90 days old.

"The acceleration of administration of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine from 2 months to 6 weeks of age could reduce the burden of invasive pneumococcal disease among infants," Stancil and colleagues conclude.

An co-author of the second study receives support from Roche and Wyeth.

Abstract - Opel
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Abstract - Stancil
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