"In Gov We Trust!" : The Impact of the Compulsory Vaccination Law on Vaccine Hesitancy: Evidence from Italy

Adriana Manna , Bocconi University
Alessia Melegaro, Bocconi University
Gaia Rubera, Bocconi University
Veronica Toffolutti, Queen Mary University of London

Over the last three years, Europe experienced a large measles outbreak. Italy was particularly hard-hit with over 5,000 cases and four deaths in 2017. ‘Vaccine-hesitancy’ has been blamed as the leading cause, with social media considered as the major source of misinformation and fake news on vaccines. To increase dramatically-low immunization rates, in 2017, the Italian Government introduced a mandatory vaccination-law (‘No jab, No school’), against ten infectious diseases, including measles. This led to an increase in the MMR vaccination-coverage. However, these aggregate figures mask regional heterogeneities, with some areas still reporting dramatically-low coverage-rates. This work aims to quantify the ‘No jab, No school’ impact on i) MMR immunization rates at national and regional levels, ii) number of measles cases, iii) attitudes towards vaccination, derived from social-media data. To these ends, we use a RDD model on a compendium of epidemiological and social-media data covering the period January 2013-August 2019.

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 Presented in Session P3. Poster Session Migration, Economics, Environment, Methods, History and Policy