Background: During 2013, isolation of a wild type 1 poliovirus from routine sewage sample in Israel, led to a national OPV campaign. During this period, there was a constant cover of the outbreak by the mass media.
Aims: To investigate the association of media exposure and OPV and non-OPV vaccines uptake during the 2013 silent polio outbreak in Israel.
Methods: We received data on daily immunization rates during the outbreak period from the Ministry of Health (MoH). We conducted a multivariable time trend analysis to assess the association between daily media exposure and vaccines uptake. Analysis was stratified by ethnicity and socio-economic status (SES).
Results: During the MoH supplemental immunization activity, 138,799 OPV vaccines were given. There was a significant association between media exposure and OPV uptake, most prominent in a lag of 3-5 days from the exposure among Jews (R.R 1.79C.I 95% 1.32-2.41) and high SES subgroups (R.R 1.71C.I 95% 1.27-2.30). These subgroups also showed increased non-OPV uptake in a lag of 3-5 days from the media exposure, in all vaccines except for MMR. Lower SES and non-Jewish subgroups did not demonstrate the same association.
Conclusion: Our findings expand the understanding of public behaviour during outbreaks. The public response shows high variability within specific subgroups. These findings highlight the importance of tailored communication strategies for each subgroup.
Keywords: Mass media; OPV; Poliomyelitis; Silent outbreak.
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