Media content about vaccines in the United States and Canada 2012-2014: An analysis using data from the Vaccine Sentimeter.

Wednesday, 16th of November 2016 Print

Vaccine. 2016 Nov 3. pii: S0264-410X(16)31015-5. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2016.10.067. [Epub ahead of print]

Media content about vaccines in the United States and Canada 2012-2014: An analysis using data from the Vaccine Sentimeter.

Powell GA1 Zinszer K2 Verma A3 Bahk C4 Madoff L5 Brownstein J6 Buckeridge D7.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

A system for monitoring vaccine-related media content was previously developed and studied from an international perspective. This monitoring approach could also have value at a regional level but it has yet to be evaluated at this scale. We examined regional patterns of vaccine-related media topics and sentiment in the US and Canada.

METHODS:

We extracted vaccine-relevant US and Canadian online media reports between June 2012 and October 2014 from the Vaccine Sentimeter a HealthMap-based automated media monitoring system for news aggregators and blogs. We analyzed regional distributions of reports about vaccines categories (i.e. topics) sentiment and measles outbreaks.

FINDINGS:

The Vaccine Sentimeter captured 10715 reports during the study period. Negative sentiment was highest in reports about vaccine safety (47%) Hepatitis B (19%) and Vermont (18%). Analyses of measles outbreaks revealed geographical variation in media content. For example religious beliefs were mentioned in 27% of measles reports in Texas and 22% of British Columbia reports but there were no references to religion in media on measles from California.

INTERPRETATIONS:

A regional analysis of online sentiment towards vaccine can provide insights that may give US and Canadian public health practitioners a deeper understanding of media influences on vaccine choices in their regions and consequently lead to more effective public health action.

 

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