'We Are Not Guinea Pigs': The Effects of Negative News on Vaccine Compliance

52 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2021 Last revised: 4 Oct 2021

See all articles by Belinda Archibong

Belinda Archibong

Columbia University - Barnard College

Francis Annan

Georgia State University

Date Written: January 29, 2021


In 1996, following an epidemic, Pfizer tested a new drug on 200 children in Muslim Nigeria. 11 children died while others were disabled. We study the effects of negative news on vaccine compliance using evidence from the disclosure of deaths of Muslim children in the Pfizer trials in 2000. Muslim mothers reduced routine vaccination of children born after the 2000 disclosure. The effect was stronger for educated mothers and mothers residing in minority Muslim neighborhoods. The disclosure did not affect other health-seeking behavior of mothers. The results illustrate the potential spillover effects of perceived medical malpractice on future vaccine hesitancy.

Note: Funding Statement: This research was not funded by any sources. Declaration of Interests: There are no competing interests to declare.

Keywords: Vaccination, Vaccine Hesitancy, Epidemic, Disease, Networks, Information, Religion

JEL Classification: I12, I14, I18, D83, O12, Z12

Suggested Citation

Archibong, Belinda and Annan, Francis, 'We Are Not Guinea Pigs': The Effects of Negative News on Vaccine Compliance (January 29, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3765793 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3765793

Belinda Archibong (Contact Author)

Columbia University - Barnard College ( email )

3009 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Francis Annan

Georgia State University ( email )

35 Broad St NW
Atlanta, GA 30309
United States

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