Student NameOlivia Milam
Faculty Mentor NameElizabeth Wood, DHS
CollegeCollege of Public Health and Health Sciences
Research Interestshealth disparities, neurobiology
Academic AwardsFlorida Academic Scholarship 2020, Emerging Scholars Program 2021
OrganizationsDelta Nu Zeta
VolunteeringI have volunteered at a variety of places, mostly at my local hospital.
Hobbies and InterestsBiking, Hiking, and Baking

Research Project

Flu and Vaccine Perception

The decision of whether or not to vaccinate is often a decision littered with many variables. The flu vaccine is one where the decision must be made every year as the flu virus evolves quickly (Mayo Clinic Staff). Only about half of the population (51.85%) of the population over 6 months were vaccinated during the 2019-2020 flu season even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends routine annual flu vaccination (CDC). There is no one factor that leads one to choose to vaccinate versus not vaccinate. Weighing the risk of the virus itself and the risk of the vaccine allows people to make the decision of getting the flu vaccine (Freimuth). Weighing the risks of the vaccine and the virus itself is known as the risk perception of vaccination in addition to many other health behaviours (Brewer). When it comes to an emergency virus, such as the coronavirus vaccine would be, the results of risk perception and vaccination behaviour might be much different as Freimuth et all. mentioned in their research study (Freimuth). In previous literature, there are countless studies that identify the connection between risk perception and vaccine behaviour, but few of the studies use young people as their population of interest. There have also been separate studies, although few, that have attempted to understand the acceptability of a COVID-19 vaccine in adults (Reiter). In the studies involving the prospective COVID-19 vaccine, there is not a connection between the risk perception of the COVID-19 virus and the projected vaccine behaviours. Previous studies have analysed the vaccine behaviours of individuals across variables of race, gender, and socioeconomic status (Reiter, Persons, Freimuth). In this study, the goal is to analyse risk perception and vaccine behaviour of flu vaccination as well as prospective COVID-19 vaccination between areas of study at the University of Florida. The purpose of this study would be to create a connection between the risk perception and vaccination behavior in relation to the flu virus and COVID-19 virus. This study would also attempt to help fill in the gap in the flu vaccine literature with the analysis of young people across areas of study. There has been superficial analysis of the effect of education on these variables, but only of the level of education and not the area of study (Freimuth).