Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Veronica N. Vernon

Second Advisor

Chad Knoderer


Background: Recently, rates of certain vaccine-preventable diseases have increased and outbreaks have occurred. For example, in 2014, the incidence of measles in the United States reached a record high since 2000, with 644 total cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. Increases such as this may likely be due to widespread public fears that vaccines can cause serious adverse events.Therefore, due to their accessibility, pharmacists can play a crucial role in lessenning these public fears through proper education.

Study objective: The primary objective of this study was to dispel rumors of vaccination and educate the Indianapolis public about the benefits of receiving vaccines. The secondary objective was to assess knowledge of and compliance to certain vaccines among different subpopulations to determine susceptible groups. Barriers to receiving vaccines were examined then analyzed.

Methods: A blinded interactive survey, available online from October 20, 2014 to January 12, 2015, was used to meet the study objectives. It was open for persons aged 18 years or older to respond at their will after watchmg an educational video also posted online. Vaccination rates, knowledge of personal vaccine history, and responses as to why subjects were not up-to-date with their vaccines were collected. These descriptive statistics were then analyzed to detennine trends among these groups.

Results: Fifty responses were collected. The population contained thirty-four females and sixteen males, and age groups ranged from 18-29 years to 60-64 years. After taking an educational survey, thirty-six subjects (72%) claimed that they were up-to-date with their recommended vaccines, one person (2%) was not sure if he was up-to-date or going to seek vaccination and twelve (24%) subjects were not up-to-date with their recommended vaccines. Of these twelve subjects, nine (75%) were not interested in seeking vaccination, and three (25%) stated that they were interested in determining if they needed to receive vaccines. All three of these subjects claimed that the educational survey aided in their decision to seek vaccination. The ninw subjects not interested in seeking vaccination had relatively strong opinions against vaccines.

Conclusion: Despite the small number respondents, this survey shows trends that may be consistent with the general population. AIl respondents who were unsure or knowingly not up-to-date with their recommended vaccines and also open to receiving vaccination stated that the educational survey inspired them to determine if further vaccination is needed. On the other hand, all respondents who were unsure or knowingly not up-to-date with their recommended vaccines and also not open to receiving vaccines were avidly anti-vaccine. This study shows that a pharmacist is able to influence a substantial portion of the population who is open to receiving vaccines. However, for those who have strong predisposed biases against vaccination, a pharmacist's influence may likely hold less merit.