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Vaccine. 2019 Jun 6;37(26):3419-3425. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2019.05.020. Epub 2019 May 13.

Trust collapse caused by the Changsheng vaccine crisis in China.

Author information

1
College of Business Administration, Hunan University of Commerce, Changsha, China; School of Economics and Management, Southeast University, Nanjing, China; Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, USA.
2
The Third Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Changsha, China. Electronic address: qushujuan25@gmail.com.
3
School of Economics and Management, Southeast University, Nanjing, China. Electronic address: ldzhao@seu.edu.cn.
4
Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, USA.
5
Center for Public Health Initiatives, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA.
6
College of Business Administration, Hunan University of Commerce, Changsha, China.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The public acceptance and implementation of vaccination programs is essential to prevent infectious diseases. However, vaccine adverse events may cause public panic and eventually lead to an increasing number of populations who were hesitant or refuse to participate in these vaccination programs. In 2018, the Changsheng vaccine crisis broke out in mainland China, and 252,600 unqualified DTP vaccines were reported to be used for child vaccination. In this study, we observed media and public reactions toward the vaccine crisis.

METHODS:

This study conducted Internet surveillance by four mainstream indicators from July 15th to August 7th, including social media (WeChat, Sina Weibo), online news and Baidu search index. We also analyzed the emotional perceptions of people in crisis through an online questionnaire survey.

RESULTS:

During the crisis, huge number of articles emerged on Internet, 125,882,894 articles (including forwarding) on WeChat friends circle, 1,877,660 Sina Weibo posts, 648,265 online news and 4,986,521 Baidu search indexes. Most of these articles were negative and expressed the public's weak confidence to the China-made vaccines. Public confidence in vaccines was undermined by the actions of the manufacturer and the government.

CONCLUSIONS:

The DTP vaccine crisis led to panic about immunization and eroded trust in the immunization program and in the government. Restoring public confidence in Chinese-made vaccines will take a long time, and meticulous management in vaccine production, and strict government regulation will help to alleviate public anxiety about vaccine safety and ultimately restore confidence.

KEYWORDS:

China; DPT vaccine; Social media; Trust; Vaccine crisis

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