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Perceptions concerning the MMR Vaccine on a Swedish Internet Platform

Journal article
Authors Sara Karvonen
Johan Wedel
Published in Socialmedicinsk Tidskrift
Volume 96
Issue 4
Pages 628-838
ISSN 0037-833X
Publication year 2019
Published at School of Global Studies, Social Anthropology
Pages 628-838
Language en
Keywords Internet, measles, vaccine, MMR; Facebook; Qualitative research
Subject categories Ethnography


Online conversations on the Internet may influence parents’ decision-making process regarding vaccination. Therefore, it is essential to understand what parents discuss and how they are advised about vaccinations in online communities. This qualitative study explores online conversations concerning the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine among members of a Swedish anti-vaccination community on the social media platform Facebook. We found that negative, erroneous, and pseudoscientific notions of vaccinations were common and often related to broader understandings of child health. Members generally overlooked the beneficial societal aspects of the vaccination. To create trust among parents concerning the MMR vaccine, Swedish healthcare personnel should be given the means and resources to promote the beneficial aspects of the vaccination in relation to parents’ risk perceptions as well as to scientifically based arguments and understandings.

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