Vaccine news in India: trend and content analysis of online mass media

Manoja Kumar Das, Deepak Singh


Background: The media news influence shapes the public sentiments and behaviour. The recent experiences indicate significant influence of online news and social media on immunization behaviour in India. The objective was to study the profile and sentiments of online media news on vaccine and vaccination in India.

Methods: We searched the online news published during November 2015 to October 2017. The news contents were interpreted and categorised according to the vaccine and sentiments.

Results: Out of the total 1430 news items, 763 were eligible for review after removal of duplicates and unrelated items. Majority (75.5%) of the news were on the immunization program. While 45.5% news originated from sub-state level, 19.3% from state and 35.2% were from national levels. The measles-rubella vaccine topped the news (23.5%) followed by poliomyelitis (10.4%) and Japanese encephalitis (6.6%) vaccines. While 65.8% of news was positive, 27.9% and 6.35% were negative and neutral respectively. The negative news comprised of the adverse events, social resistance, and vaccine shortageent.

Conclusions: A sizable proportion of news contained negative messages, which may influence public vaccine behaviour. Past experiences (pentavalent and measles-rubella) calls for regular monitoring of media messages and adopt appropriate communication strategy to retain vaccine confidence and reduce vaccine hesitancy.


Vaccine, Vaccination, Online media news, Sentiments, India

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