It Is Heyday for Viruses! Prevalence and Determinants of Negative Attitudes toward Vaccines in Italy

Ceylan Engin , Bogazici University
Cristiano Vezzoni, University of Milan

The paper investigates negative attitudes toward vaccines in Italy, where anti-vaccination movement has gained significant momentum in recent years. Considering the substantial health risk to the herd immunity the issue poses, it has become increasingly important to study the prevalence and diffusion of anti-vax beliefs. Using the data from 2017 European Social Survey’s (ESS) country specific questions for Italy, the manuscript examines the prevalence of anti-vaccination attitudes, and how they are influenced by structural, attitudinal, and value orientation determinants. The results show that 15 percent of the Italian public strictly hold negative views toward vaccination, and the prevalence of anti-vaccination attitudes is most commonly found among those who are less educated and aged between 25 and 34. While religiosity and political conservatism do not have an effect on anti-vaccination beliefs, our results indicate a strong positive link between anti-vaccination attitudes and distrust in the country’s health care and political institutions.

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 Presented in Session P2. Poster Session Ageing, Health and Mortality