IOWA CITY—The public has learned much in the early months of 2021 about the medical efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. But what about how individual patients feel about their experiences receiving a vaccination, and how they talk about it with others?
Two University of Iowa medical anthropologists set out to study this humanistic side of the question, and the results may help public health advocates refine their approach to encouraging people to get vaccinated.
Dr. Emily Wentzell, associate professor of anthropology, and Dr. Ana-Monica Racila, a postdoctoral fellow in the UI Carver College of Medicine, have published their study in Vaccine. The journal is unique in publishing the highest quality science across all disciplines relevant to the field of vaccinology.
The paper, titled "The social experience of participation in a COVID-19 vaccine trial: Subjects’ motivations, others’ concerns, and insights for vaccine promotion," reports on a study of 31 participants in the Iowa City site of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine phase 3 clinical trial, led by Dr. Patricia Winkour at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. By focusing on the experiences of trial participants, the paper offers an early view of people’s lived experiences of potentially receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
In addition, Wentzell noted another important benefit of the project.
“This research demonstrates how productive collaboration between the liberal arts and medical sides of a university can be,” she said.
Wentzell’s and Racila’s research was funded by a grant from the UI’s Arts and Humanities Initiative. Wentzell joined the UI Department of Anthropology faculty in 2010, and is faculty director of the International Studies Program. Racila earned the PhD in medical anthropology from the UI in 2020.
About the article
"The social experience of participation in a COVID-19 vaccine trial: Subjects’ motivations, others’ concerns, and insights for vaccine promotion," by Emily Wentzell, PhD, Ana-Monica Racila, PhD. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2021.03.036. It will be published in Vaccine, Volume XX (2021), published by Elsevier.
Where to get the article
Copies of this paper are available to credentialed journalists upon request; please contact Elsevier's Newsroom at email@example.com or +31 20 485 2719.
Vaccine is the pre-eminent journal for those interested in vaccines and vaccination. It is the official journal of The Edward Jenner Society and The Japanese Society for Vaccinology and is published by Elsevier.
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