A mumps outbreak occurred on the James Madison University campus in Harrisonburg, Virginia, during the Spring 2018 semester. For many of the students, it was probably the first time they had to decide on their own whether or not to receive a vaccine. This study examined the relationships between students’ general vaccine acceptance; measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine acceptance; vaccine knowledge; and intent to receive/receipt of the MMR booster. An explanatory, cross-sectional study was distributed in Fall 2019 to students in two health courses (n = 243). For students who were enrolled during the Spring 2018 semester, the surveys evaluated perceptions and behaviors regarding the MMR vaccine; for those not enrolled in Spring 2018, the survey evaluated perceptions of a hypothetical outbreak. As a whole, the surveyed population had a positive attitude towards vaccines, and 97.4% (n = 149) of participants responding to the hypothetical scenario said they would receive a booster shot if recommended when presented the opportunity. Still, attitude alone is not enough to persuade an individual to receive a vaccine. Only 39.7% (n = 33) of the participants enrolled in Spring 2018 elected to receive the MMR vaccine, while 60.3% (n = 52) did not receive the vaccine, with the most popular reason being lack of time. The results indicate more efforts are needed to increase the perceived importance of vaccinations and perceived susceptibility to the consequences of not getting vaccinated.
Keane, L. A. (2021). The danger of apathy: College students’ receipt of mumps vaccine during an outbreak. James Madison Undergraduate Research Journal, 8(1), 31-41. http://commons.lib.jmu.edu/jmurj/vol8/iss1/4.