Aim: The IMMUNE project will provide a ground-breaking interdisciplinary modelling framework that will explore the dynamics of human behavior on infections’ spread, through the lens of social sciences, integrating risk perceptions on diseases and vaccines, (mis)information campaigns, social peers influence and digitalisation.
Background: Vaccines represent one of the most significant, cost-effective and safe public health interventions ever introduced. However, vaccine hesitancy has become alarmingly widespread over the last two decades, especially in Europe where vaccine refusal has steadily increased and serious outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases have re-emerged.
Method: A combination of quantitative approaches and research methodologies will be used to extend the current state-of-the-art epidemiological models. Digital records on individuals’ use of the Internet and social media will be analysed to study the interplay between health communications, risk perception and vaccine uptake in different contexts. Experimental and field surveys will be conducted in three selected EU countries to generate data on individuals’ social interactions, both physical and virtual. Agent-Based and mechanistic compartmental models will be developed to unravel the complex relationship between the determinants of human behaviour, vaccination decision and infection spread.
Impact: The IMMUNE project provides a step forward in the understanding of the relationship between human behaviour and the demand for vaccines, and how these two aspects are intertwined with the way infections spread in our communities. The proposed activities will integrate different perspectives and strategies in a novel and comprehensive framework where human contagion is at the centre of a multidimensional approach that stands at the intersection of epidemiology, demography, sociology, social psychology and public health.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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