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Published Online: 12 October 2009

Public Willingness to Take a Vaccine or Drug Under Emergency Use Authorization during the 2009 H1N1 Pandemic

Publication: Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science
Volume 7, Issue Number 3

Abstract

On April 26, 2009, the United States declared a public health emergency in response to a growing but uncertain threat from H1N1 influenza, or swine flu. In June, the World Health Organization declared a pandemic. In the U.S., hospitalizations due to swine flu numbered 6,506 on August 6, 2009, with 436 deaths; all 50 states have reported cases. The declaration of a public health emergency, followed by the approval of multiple Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) by the Food and Drug Administration, allowed the distribution of unapproved drugs or the off-label use of approved drugs to the public. Thus far, there are 2 antiviral medications available to the public as EUA drugs. It is possible that an H1N1 vaccine will be initially released as an EUA in the fall in the first large-scale use of the EUA mechanism. This study explores the public's willingness to use a drug or vaccine under the conditions stipulated in the FDA's nonbinding guidance regarding EUAs. Using Knowledge Networks' panel, we conducted an internet survey with 1,543 adults from a representative sample of the U.S. population with 2 oversamples of African Americans and Spanish-speaking Hispanics. Our completion rate was 62%. We examined willingness to accept an EUA drug or an H1N1 vaccine, the extent of worry associated with taking either, the conditions under which respondents would accept an EUA drug or vaccine, and the impact of language from the EUA fact sheets on people's willingness to accept a drug for themselves or their children. We also examined the association among these variables and race/ethnicity, education level, trust in government, previous vaccine acceptance, and perceived personal consequences from H1N1 influenza. These results provide critical insights into the challenges of communicating about EUA drugs and vaccine in our current pandemic.

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Published In

cover image Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science
Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science
Volume 7Issue Number 3September 2009
Pages: 275 - 290
PubMed: 19775200

History

Published online: 12 October 2009
Published ahead of print: 23 September 2009
Accepted: 9 September 2009
Published in print: September 2009
Received: 12 August 2009

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Sandra Crouse Quinn
Sandra Crouse Quinn, PhD, is Associate Professor, Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, Graduate School of Public Health; Supriya Kumar, PhD, MPH, is Research Associate, Center for Minority Health, Graduate School of Public Health; Kelley Kidwell is a Graduate Student Researcher, Department of Biostatistics, Graduate School of Public Health; and Donald Musa, DrPH, is Senior Research Associate, University Center for Social and Urban Research; all are at the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Vicki S. Freimuth, PhD, is Professor, Department of Speech Communication and Center for Health and Risk Communication, University of Georgia, Athens.
Supriya Kumar
Sandra Crouse Quinn, PhD, is Associate Professor, Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, Graduate School of Public Health; Supriya Kumar, PhD, MPH, is Research Associate, Center for Minority Health, Graduate School of Public Health; Kelley Kidwell is a Graduate Student Researcher, Department of Biostatistics, Graduate School of Public Health; and Donald Musa, DrPH, is Senior Research Associate, University Center for Social and Urban Research; all are at the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Vicki S. Freimuth, PhD, is Professor, Department of Speech Communication and Center for Health and Risk Communication, University of Georgia, Athens.
Vicki S. Freimuth
Sandra Crouse Quinn, PhD, is Associate Professor, Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, Graduate School of Public Health; Supriya Kumar, PhD, MPH, is Research Associate, Center for Minority Health, Graduate School of Public Health; Kelley Kidwell is a Graduate Student Researcher, Department of Biostatistics, Graduate School of Public Health; and Donald Musa, DrPH, is Senior Research Associate, University Center for Social and Urban Research; all are at the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Vicki S. Freimuth, PhD, is Professor, Department of Speech Communication and Center for Health and Risk Communication, University of Georgia, Athens.
Kelley Kidwell
Sandra Crouse Quinn, PhD, is Associate Professor, Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, Graduate School of Public Health; Supriya Kumar, PhD, MPH, is Research Associate, Center for Minority Health, Graduate School of Public Health; Kelley Kidwell is a Graduate Student Researcher, Department of Biostatistics, Graduate School of Public Health; and Donald Musa, DrPH, is Senior Research Associate, University Center for Social and Urban Research; all are at the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Vicki S. Freimuth, PhD, is Professor, Department of Speech Communication and Center for Health and Risk Communication, University of Georgia, Athens.
Donald Musa
Sandra Crouse Quinn, PhD, is Associate Professor, Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, Graduate School of Public Health; Supriya Kumar, PhD, MPH, is Research Associate, Center for Minority Health, Graduate School of Public Health; Kelley Kidwell is a Graduate Student Researcher, Department of Biostatistics, Graduate School of Public Health; and Donald Musa, DrPH, is Senior Research Associate, University Center for Social and Urban Research; all are at the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Vicki S. Freimuth, PhD, is Professor, Department of Speech Communication and Center for Health and Risk Communication, University of Georgia, Athens.

Notes

Address correspondence to:
Sandra Crouse Quinn, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Graduate School of Public Health
230 Parran Hall
130 DeSoto Street
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
E-mail: [email protected]

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