Reducing the public and private costs associated with vaccine-preventable diseases is a chief element of worldwide public health policy. Massive participation in vaccination programs is instrumental in eradicating deadly diseases.
Even though childhood vaccination mandates have been in place since the 20th century, vaccine hesitancy among Italian parents is increasing, alarming national and international health institutions. What policy is more effective in increasing vaccination rates and what are the reasons behind parental vaccine hesitancy are still open questions. The goal of the project is to study parental vaccine hesitancy in Italy.
The objectives that will be investigated are as follows: 1. To study the dynamics of the vaccination coverage in Italy. Exploiting the 2007 reform of Veneto, which abolished mandatory vaccination, it will be evaluated whether vaccine recommendations are a cause of the decrease of childhood vaccination. These tasks will be carry out using national data available from the Italian Department of Health. 2. To identify the reasons behind parental vaccine hesitancy. The research will aim at identifying parental preferences for childhood vaccination without imposing assumptions on parental beliefs. 3. To assess how various informative interventions affecting parents’ beliefs may increase vaccine acceptance.