Date of Award
Open Access Thesis
MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)
Physician Assistant Studies
Jenny Kluznik, MPH, PA-C
Vaccines are highly regarded in the scientific and medical community for their efficacy in the prevention of disease; yet the prevalence of misinformation and mistrust surrounding vaccines is growing in communities around the world. Specifically observed in the United States (US) as an increase in vaccination exemption rates, this trend of vaccine hesitancy is leading to an increasing number of parents and caregivers to either refuse or delay vaccinations from the recommended schedule. As a result, an increasing number of outbreaks of diseases such as measles and pertussis, thought to be on the verge of elimination, have spiked. While health professionals direct attention to this issue, it is important to have a firm understanding of the epidemiology of vaccine hesitancy; as well as a familiarity with leading strategies in addressing it. As much of the focus is placed upon efficacy of interventions, it is equally important to recognize the ethical implications of these interventions and how they improve or impede the patient-provider relationship. Interventions of education, presumptive language, motivational interviewing, mandatory vaccine policy, and modified vaccination schedules were evaluated for efficacy and compliance with the four pillars of medical ethics: patient autonomy, beneficence non-maleficence, and justice. Consistent themes throughout the literature found that the most important element for improving vaccination efficacy is ensuring a level of trust between the parent/caregiver and provider.
James, Tommie L. III, "Ethically Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy in Pediatric Populations" (2020). Theses and Graduate Projects. 1050.