Social Science Research for Vaccine Deployment in Epidemic Outbreaks
Recent infectious disease outbreaks show that inadequate consideration of social, cultural, political, and religious factors in humanitarian responses has consequences for community acceptance of, and the effectiveness of, response activities. A growing number of studies have focused on the historical, social, cultural, and political determinants of vaccine acceptance, and highlighted the specificities of these dynamics during emergencies. Given the range of disease types and contexts, there is a need to understand different perspectives on vaccines and outbreaks, including: political and economic factors that determine whether and how vaccines can be effectively deployed in an emergency; health system realities closely tied to cultural, policy, and historical developments; and local systems of knowledge to identify community perceptions surrounding vaccine use. This SSHAP Practical Approaches brief can be used by health-care providers/non-governmental organisations (NGOs), national and global-level policymakers, and industry actors to gain social science inputs in vaccine deployment efforts to provide practical solutions to re-occurring challenges, including vaccine refusal.