Controversy undermines support for state mandates on the human papillomavirus vaccine
Volume 29, Issue 11
Conflict (Psychology); Immunization Programs--legislation & jurisprudence; Mandatory Programs; Papillomavirus Vaccines--therapeutic use; Public Opinion; State Government; State Health Reform; Vaccines
State actions requiring adolescent girls to receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine created controversy following the vaccine's approval in 2006. Some health professionals worried that the controversy might dampen public support for those state policies and for other school immunizations in general. We fielded an experimental Internet survey to determine how controversy affects attitudes about vaccines. We discovered that public support for the HPV vaccine mandates wanes when the public is informed that the policies are controversial. However, the experimental survey also revealed that exposure to this policy controversy did not spill over and reduce public support for immunizations in general.
Gollust, S.E., Dempsey, A.F., Lantz, P.M., Ubel, P.A., Fowler, E.F. (2010). Controversy undermines support for state mandates on the human papillomavirus vaccine. Health Affairs, 29(11), 2041-2046.