Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Media coverage of HPV vaccine boosts reports of adverse effects

Date:
November 19, 2013
Source:
Health Behavior News Service
Summary:
The number of adverse events reported for the HPV vaccine Gardasil® correlated with an increase in the number of media stories about the vaccine, finds a study.

The number of adverse events associated with the HPV vaccine reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) appeared to be related to media coverage and online controversy about the vaccine, finds a study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

"Vaccines are being met with increased skepticism and criticism in society," said the lead author Jan Eberth, PhD., an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health.

HPV vaccines prevent infection from certain types of human papillomavirus. A sexually transmitted virus, HPV increases the risk of cervical, oral, anal, vaginal and vulvar cancers in women and of oral, anal and penile cancers in men. The authors noted that because this vaccine concerns sexual activity in young people, public discussion of its use has often been heated.

To determine if there was a connection between media coverage and reported vaccine side effects, the researchers compared the number of adverse effects reported for the HPV vaccine Gardasil® with the number of adverse events reported for Menactra®, a vaccine used to prevent meningitis, a potentially deadly nervous system infection. Menactra is administered to a similar age group as Gardasil and was approved shortly before Gardasil.

The authors compared the amount of print media coverage that the two vaccines received during two and a half years following their FDA approval. The researchers also examined the association between adverse effects reported for each of the two vaccines and the amount of online search activity related to them.

During that time frame, the vaccine adverse event reporting system maintained by the CDC and FDA received a monthly average of 159 adverse reports for Gardasil versus 19 for Menactra. Print media coverage was much heavier for Gardasil, spiking in month nine with 147 media reports. During the preceding 8 months, there was no significant difference in adverse event reports for Gardasil and Menactra.

Adverse event reporting for Gardasil increased nine months after approval. At that time, Texas governor Rick Perry issued an executive order that all girls older than age 11 be vaccinated, an order which the Texas legislature overturned.

The researchers found that the disproportionate number of Gardasil adverse events reported reflected the intense media attention which echoed after the Texas controversy moved online. Though the authors admit they cannot rule out an actual difference in the number of side effects experienced from the two vaccines, they note that the reported risk of serious adverse events for both Gardasil and Menactra were low (.8 percent vs. 1.0 percent).

The sheer volume of media coverage for the HPV vaccine versus the low coverage for the meningitis vaccine may have raised awareness of potential adverse events and the need to report them, said the authors. They suggest that public health communicators who explain vaccines need to pay closer attention to information spread in the media and online forums.

Jennifer Smith, MPH, Ph.D., associate professor of epidemiology at the University of North Carolina's School of Public Health, said that public health leaders ought to proactively respond to incorrect media coverage. "We need to be offensive rather than the defensive. We need to develop clear, data-based messages on vaccination and on vaccine safety that the public can easily understand to make informed decisions," she said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Health Behavior News Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jan M. Eberth, Kimberly N. Kline, David A. Moskowitz, Jane R. Montealegre, Michael E. Scheurer. The Role of Media and the Internet on Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting: A Case Study of Human Papillomavirus Vaccination. Journal of Adolescent Health, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.09.005

Cite This Page:

Health Behavior News Service. "Media coverage of HPV vaccine boosts reports of adverse effects." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131119193437.htm>.
Health Behavior News Service. (2013, November 19). Media coverage of HPV vaccine boosts reports of adverse effects. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131119193437.htm
Health Behavior News Service. "Media coverage of HPV vaccine boosts reports of adverse effects." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131119193437.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) — Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) — Researchers looked at 1,500 blood samples and determined people who developed pancreatic cancer had more branched chain amino acids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) — Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) — Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins