The ongoing Zika pandemic has affected many countries that are common travel destinations. We assessed the willingness to receive a prophylactic Zika virus (ZIKV) vaccine, currently under development, among travelers to areas with reported autochthonous ZIKV transmission. We surveyed United States (U.S.) residents aged 18-44 years who had ever heard of ZIKV and planned to travel to Florida and/or Texas (N=420) or a U.S. territory or foreign country (N = 415) in 2017, using a nationally representative internet panel. Travelers to Florida and/or Texas reported less concern about ZIKV infection than travelers to other destinations (27% versus 36%, P = 0.01). Female sex, Hispanic ethnicity, discussing ZIKV with medical professionals, ZIKV risk perception, and self-efficacy for ZIKV prevention predicted concern about ZIKV infection in both groups. Travelers to Florida and/or Texas (43%) and other destinations (44%) were equally willing to receive a ZIKV vaccine. Hispanic ethnicity, discussing ZIKV with medical professionals, and concern about ZIKV infection predicted vaccine willingness in both groups. Likelihood of using existing ZIKV prevention methods, confidence in the U.S. government to prevent ZIKV spread, self-efficacy for ZIKV prevention, and knowledge about ZIKV symptoms further predicted vaccine willingness in travelers to other destinations. In multivariable analyses, only concern about ZIKV infection was associated with vaccine willingness in both groups (prevalence ratio [95% confidence interval]: Florida and/or Texas: 1.34 [1.06, 1.69]; other: 1.82 [1.44, 2.29]). Targeted communications can educate travelers, particularly travelers who are pregnant or may become pregnant, about ZIKV risk to generate ZIKV vaccine demand.
United States travelers' concern about Zika infection and willingness to receive a hypothetical Zika vaccine
Vielot, N. A., Stamm, L., Herrington, J., Squiers, L., Kelly, B., McCormack, L., & Becker-Dreps, S. (2018). United States travelers' concern about Zika infection and willingness to receive a hypothetical Zika vaccine. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 98(6), 1848-1856. https://doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.17-0907