Social Media Intervention Improves Child Vaccination Rates

November 6, 2017

By Reuters Staff

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A website with vaccine information and interactive social media components provided during pregnancy improves up-to-date infant vaccination rates, according to results from a randomized trial.

Many parents who hesitate to vaccinate their children distrust traditional sources of scientific authority and search online to gather information on vaccines.

Dr. Jason M. Glanz from Kaiser Permanente Colorado, in Denver, and colleagues evaluated the effectiveness of web-based vaccine information and social media interventions to increase vaccine acceptance as part of the Colorado Vaccine Social Media study.


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They randomly assigned 1,093 pregnant women (mean age, 32), in a 3:2:1 ratio, to one of three ways of receiving information: a website with vaccine information and interactive social media components (VSM), a website just with vaccine information (VI), or only usual pediatric preventive care (UC).

At enrollment, 14% of participants were classified as vaccine-hesitant, and more than 62% reported using the internet for health information at least weekly, according to the November 6 Pediatrics online report.

Among 888 participants with 200 days of follow-up, more than a third of both the VSM and VI groups (35.0%) visited the assigned websites at least once, including 44% of vaccine-hesitant participants and 34% of non-hesitant participants. Participants in the VSM group contributed 90 online comments and questions during the study period.

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