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Infectious Diseases - Public Health and Epidemiology - Science Policy

Fatigue and Fear with Shifting Polio Eradication Strategies in India: A Study of Social Resistance to Vaccination
Published: Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Author: Rashid S. Hussain et al.

by Rashid S. Hussain, Stephen T. McGarvey, Tabassam Shahab, Lina M. Fruzzetti

Shifting polio eradication strategies may have generated fear and “resistance” to the eradication program in Aligarh, India during the summer of 2009. Participant observation and formal interviews with 107 people from May to August 2009 indicated that the intensified frequency of vaccination was correlated with patients' doubt in the efficacy of the vaccine. This doubt was exacerbated in a few cases as families were uninformed of the use of monovalent mOPV1, while P3 cases continued to occur. Many families had also come to believe that their children had been adversely affected by OPV after being told the vaccine carried no risk. Though polio is now largely eradicated in India, with only a single case in 2011, greater transparency about changes with vaccination policy may need to be considered to build trust with the public in future eradication programs.