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Fatima Gauna

PhD student in sociology, EHESP

Doctoral school: 637 - Sciences de la vie et de la santé

Dissertation title: Vaccine hesitancy and adverse vaccine reactions: a social pharmacology informed by the social sciences

Dissertation under the direction of Jocelyn Raude (EHESP) and Jeremy K Ward (CERMES3)

Considering that several tens of millions of people in France have received, and will no doubt continue to receive, COVID vaccines, it is important to examine the experience of adverse reactions attributed to these pharmaceutical products. Two findings are particularly salient. The first is the recurrent under-reporting of adverse events. The second is the variability of interpretation and understanding of the notion of adverse reaction by individuals and healthcare professionals.

Experience of drugs and vaccines can be linked to psychophysiological and contextual factors. Thus, a significant proportion of the adverse effects experienced by vaccinated individuals are probably "nocebo" effects, i.e. they do not result from the pharmacological action of the vaccine.

The main purpose of this PhD project is to study the relationship between the experience of adverse events and vaccine hesitancy, using the case of vaccination against COVID-19. In particular, it proposes to explore the issues involved in qualifying adverse events and the use of the notion of the nocebo effect.

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