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Ashwinkumar Venkatanaga Machanavajjhala

Associate Professor of Computer Science
Computer Science

Outreach & Engaged Scholarship

Bass Connections Faculty Team Leader - Vaccine Misinformation and Its Link to Vaccine Hesitancy and Uptake in Durham · 2018 - 2019 Projects & Field Work flag North Carolina

Primary Theme: Global Health

Vaccinations administered during pregnancy and the first year of a child’s life are crucial for preventing a myriad of potentially deadly and debilitating infections such as polio, pertussis, measles, influenza and tetanus. Despite overwhelming scientific evidence on the benefits of vaccinations, pregnant women and parents of young children often refuse to accept, or choose to space out, vaccinations for themselves or their children. This phenomenon, termed vaccine hesitancy, is blamed for several vaccine-preventable outbreaks in the U.S., including the 2017 measles outbreak in a Somali community in Minnesota. In order to design effective behavior change interventions to mitigate vaccine hesitancy, we need to understand the role of misinformation in the development or promotion of vaccine hesitancy, as well as the subsequent decision to accept vaccines without delay.