This article discusses a study of flu vaccine uptake and hesitancy in a rural community during the 2009–2010 H1N1 pandemic flu season. In it, we explore study participants’ understanding of the relationship between vaccines, illness, and immunity, as well as parent intentionality in accepting or forgoing flu vaccines for their children. Our research offers novel conclusions about how people respond to the development and implementation of vaccines for newly emerging flu strains and establishes a warrant for qualitative research on vaccination practices that attends to participants’ views about vaccines in the context of their overall ideas about health. Our findings suggest that more accurate understandings of people’s beliefs and experiences of vaccination can be developed through qualitative research that values vernacular discourse. Our findings also suggest that influenza vaccination provides a fruitful context in which to study vaccine hesitancy and refusal. Finally, our study demonstrates that vaccine concerns are more demographically widespread than is presumed by current research.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health