Drawbacks of communicating refugee vaccination rates – New publication in Lancet Infectious Diseases

Often it is pointed out that the influx of migrants can be perceived as a health threat by host countries, leading to discrimination against refugees. To prevent discrimination, Kahn an colleagues (Lancet ID, 2017) recommend debunking misconceptions about disease risks. Although we agree that measures to decrease discrimination are crucial, we argue in this paper that communicating refugees’ high vaccination uptake can have detrimental effects on the host population’s prevention behaviour. Based on data from a game-theoretical paradigm we show that host countries’ vaccination rates decline when it is communicated that incoming new memebers of the society are well vaccinated.

Korn, L., Betsch, C., Böhm, R., & Meier, N. (2017). Communicating high vaccine rates of refugees: How the best intentions can lead to harm. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 17, 364–365.


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