The effect of perceived risks on the demand for vaccination: results from a discrete choice experiment

Md Z Sadique, Nancy Devlin, William J Edmunds, David Parkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


The demand for vaccination against infectious diseases involves a choice between vaccinating and not vaccinating, in which there is a trade-off between the benefits and costs of each option. The aim of this paper is to investigate these trade-offs and to estimate how the perceived prevalence and severity of both the disease against which the vaccine is given and any vaccine associated adverse events (VAAE) might affect demand. A discrete choice experiment (DCE) was used to elicit stated preferences from a representative sample of 369 U.K. mothers of children below 5 years of age, for three hypothetical vaccines. Cost was included as an attribute, which enabled estimation of the willingness to pay for different vaccines having differing levels of the probability of occurrence and severity of both the infection and VAAE. The results suggest that the severity of the health effects associated with both the diseases and VAAEs exert an important influence on the demand for vaccination, whereas the probability of these events occurring was not a significant predictor. This has important implications for public health policy, which has tended to focus on the probability of these health effects as the main influence on decision making. Our results also suggest that anticipated regrets about the consequences of making the wrong decision also exert an influence on demand.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere54149
Pages (from-to)N/A
Number of pages9
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2013


  • Child, Preschool
  • Great Britain
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Questionnaires
  • Risk
  • Vaccination


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