Sanofi Pasteur is a global pharmaceutical company dedicated to supplying the most comprehensive range of vaccines to help prevent disease and maintain public health.
In recent years, public opinion has shifted from a widespread acceptance of vaccination to an increase in concern for vaccine safety, often fuelled by negative media coverage. Sanofi Pasteur sought to reverse this situation and counter anti-vaccine rhetoric with dissemination of scientific evidence to the contrary.
The company engaged Associate Professor Gaelle Vallee-Tourangeau, to conduct research within the company to help them to better understand the psychology of decision making in vaccination acceptance issues. This would ultimately enable staff to engage more effectively with the public to sustain confidence in vaccination.
Dr Vallee-Tourangeau adapted a theoretical framework that considers vaccination as a motivated decision to study perceptions of vaccination and vaccination advocacy among Sanofi Pasteur employees.
The research led to the identification of three types of sentiments towards vaccination among employees and two types of sentiments towards advocacy were identified.
By conceiving vaccination as a motivated act, this research was the first to reveal the existence of individual differences in levels of autonomous drive towards vaccination and vaccination advocacy. It also provided a tool for measuring the differences in levels of motivation.
The findings helped Sanofi Pasteur to have a better understanding of attitudes towards vaccination and to develop action plans that could be applied to other populations both internal and external.
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