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Vaccinations are powerful public health weapons against infectious diseases and illnesses. The vast majority of vaccines, ranging from the more familiar seasonal flu vaccines to newer vaccines such as the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, are safe and effective. However, promoting public acceptance and adoption of vaccines has been a challenging health communication task. A unique communication challenge associated with vaccines is people's fear about vaccines, which is compounded by the often negative and misleading media coverage of vaccines. This entry focuses on past and current research on the design of effective communication messages promoting vaccination and the content and potential effects of media portrayals of vaccines.

To develop effective communication messages for the promotion of vaccination, researchers have applied a number of behavior change models to ...

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