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PDRI-DevLab Spring 2024 Workshop Series: Helene Purcell

PDRI-DevLab is hosting a Spring 2024 Workshop Series featuring its staff and affiliates.

Topic: Determinants of Vaccination Social Network and Leadership influence on vaccination behavior in Malawi

Presenter: Helene Purcell

Session Details: Vaccinating a critical fraction of the global population against Covid-19 was crucial for curtailing the Covid-19 pandemic and its far-reaching health, social and economic implications. Yet, low-income countries (LICs) lagged behind this goal despite adequate global supply of vaccines. Understanding the determinants of Covid-19 vaccination uptake is vital for designing targeted interventions to improve vaccination rates and enhance overall health outcomes. Using data from Malawi, we investigated how individuals living in a rural LIC make vaccine decisions, and how interventions and policies can increase vaccine uptake to better target at-risk populations. We build on results from early in the pandemic and analyze the roles of local leadership, family networks, and accessibility for vaccination outcomes in rural Malawi, finding that messaging by and trust in officials and family networks matter most for influencing vaccination among older adults.

This session will be a workshop and participants are requested to read the paper beforehand.

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Helene Purcell

Helene Purcell is a postdoctoral researcher at the Population Studies Center at the University of Pennsylvania working on the Malawi Longitudinal Study of Families andHealth (MLSFH). She graduated in2021 with a PhD in Economics from Fordham University. Her research lies at the intersection of development and health economics, studying the role of environmental exposure and shocks on health and economic outcomes. Her other work includes decision-making around Covid-19 vaccine uptake in low-income contexts, and how personality influences labor market decisions.