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'We Are Not Guinea Pigs': The Effects of Negative News on Vaccine Compliance

Archibong, Belinda; Annan, Francis

In 1996, following an epidemic, Pfizer tested a new drug on 200 children in Muslim Nigeria. 11 children died and multiple were disabled. We study the effects of negative news on vaccine compliance using evidence from the 2000 disclosure of deaths of Muslim children in the Pfizer trials. Muslim mothers reduced routine vaccination of children born after the 2000 disclosure. The effect was stronger for educated mothers and mothers residing in minority Muslim neighborhoods with relatively stronger ties to religious networks. The disclosure did not affect other health-seeking behavior of mothers, and the reduction effect is specific to child vaccination.

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Economics (Barnard College)
Published Here
January 15, 2021

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Keywords: Vaccination, Vaccine Compliance, Epidemic, Disease, Networks, Information, Religion