1st Edition

Vaccinations and Public Concern in History Legend, Rumor, and Risk Perception

By Andrea Kitta Copyright 2012

    Vaccinations and Public Concern in History explores vernacular beliefs and practices that surround decisions not to vaccinate. Through the use of ethnographic, media, and narrative analyses, this book explores the vernacular explanatory models used in inoculation decision-making. The research on which the book draws was designed to help create public health education programs and promotional materials that respond to patients’ fears, understandings of risk, concerns, and doubts. Exploring the nature of inoculation distrust and miscommunication, Dr. Andrea Kitta identifies areas that require better public health communication and greater cultural sensitivity in the handling of inoculation programs.

    1. Introduction  2. Genres and Communicative Forms  3. Folkloric Content in Vaccine Narratives  4. Medical and Ethical Issues as Perceived by the Medical Community  5. Notions of Risk


    Dr. Andrea Kitta is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at East Carolina University and a Professional Associate for the Department of Pediatrics at Memorial University of Newfoundland. She has a Ph.D. in Folklore from MUN. She has done extensive research and presented on folklore and medicine, risk perception, urban legends, and health information on the Internet.

    ‘Andrea Kitta’s book on public concerns about vaccination is timely and profoundly important. Her account of the nature and sources of public concerns over vaccination is remarkably fair and well informed. I recommend this book to parents concerned about vaccination decisions for their children, as well as health professionals who advise about and provide vaccinations. It should also be read by those who teach health professions students and all with an interest in the intersection of culture and health.’David Hufford, Pennsylvania State College of Medicine