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Contribution title Vaccination literacy - Exploring the effect of vaccination literacy on trust and intention to vaccinate after a vaccine scandal in China
  1. Sarah Mantwill Universität Luzern Presenter
  2. Xiaomin Wang Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  3. Xudong Zhou Zhejiang University
Form of presentation Poster
  • Public health
Abstract Background
In recent years, misleading reports on vaccines and their potential side effects have threatened public trust and immunization rates worldwide, and vaccination hesitancy has become a major concern for public health researchers and policymakers alike.
Health literacy, more specifically vaccination literacy, might be an important factor in reducing the negative effects of exposure to misleading reports on vaccines. The study at hand aims at exploring the association between vaccination literacy and vaccination-related outcomes after misleading reports on a scandal concerning locally produced childhood vaccines had emerged in 2016 in China.

Data for this study came from a cross-sectional survey, which was conducted in April 2016 in Hangzhou, China. Data were collected in kindergartens and community health centers among parents of children up to six years of age.
The survey included questions on functional and critical vaccination literacy, all directly referring to the vaccine scandal. Functional literacy was assessed with two questions (i.e. “It is difficult for me to find correct and comprehensive information about this vaccine scandal.”). Critical literacy was assessed by asking respondents to choose the best description about the vaccine scandal, with one description being correct and two being incorrect.
Vaccination-related outcome variables included parental trust towards, and intention to vaccinate children with domestically produced vaccines.
Differences in literacy were assessed with non-parametric tests, and binary logistic regressions were run to assess the association between vaccination literacy and vaccination-related outcomes.

Data were analyzed for overall 1864 participants. The majority of participants had children between the age of 4 and 6 (80%) and participants with higher education had better functional and critical health literacy (p <.001).
After controlling for socio-demographics and children`s age, parents who had better functional (p <.05) and critical literacy (p <.001) were more likely to trust and choose domestically produced vaccines.

This study provides evidence on a still largely understudied relationship between vaccination literacy and vaccination-related outcomes. Findings might suggest that higher literacy levels could balance out some of the negative effects of being exposed to misleading information on vaccines, eventually leading to less vaccination hesitancy.