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Background: Minority adult populations are at a higher risk for invasive pneumococcal disease and also have significantly lower vaccination rates when compared with the general population. Ingrained attitudes are a significant barrier to receipt of pneumococcal vaccine in these disparate populations, and therefore we tested targeted informational messaging to overcome these.

Methods: A survey instrument of attitudinal questions related to pneumococcal vaccination was administered via YouGov, an online public national survey house in 2017. Socioeconomic information was captured and linked to baseline Likert scale attitudinal question responses. Respondents were randomly assigned into subsamples that received different science-based messages that included information on pneumococcal vaccines related to: pneumonia prevention, fatality/consequences, vaccine safety information, family duty/safety, and a combined vignette including all of these. Because of the random assignment, any differences observed in the respondents’ outcomes across subsamples can be attributed to the messages. Descriptive statistics were used to compare the persuasive effectiveness of these messages to conventional vaccine information across racial and ethnic groups.

Results: A total of 2,608 respondents, 1,327 (51%) white and 1,281 (49%) non-white (over-sampled) were represented. Of the total respondents as well as in white, and non-white respondents, the combined vignette was associated with positive coefficients of b = 0.26, b = 0.24, and b = 0.32, respectively (P-values all <0.05). In whites, the vaccine safety information and family duty/safety also had significant coefficients b = 0.24 ( = P = 0.012) and b = 0.24 (P = 0016), respectively. In non-Whites, family duty/safety was the only additional message with a significant coefficient b = 0.25 (P = 0.007).

Conclusion: In this survey assessing attitudes toward pneumococcal vaccination across racial and ethnic subpopulations, the disparate population was persuaded to receive the vaccine only when family duty and safety were linked within the informational messages. Future studies implementing this informational messaging strategy should be performed to validate this finding.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Marc Hutchison and Brian Krueger are from the Department of Political Science.

Katherine Orr, Jennifer DeAngelis, Aisling Caffrey and Kerry LaPlante are in the Department of Pharmacy Practice.