Alessandra Cecilia Jacomuzzi

The perception of vaccine effectiveness in the medical field

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Several studies have shown that humans can encounter some difficulties when thinking about key concepts related to diseases, immunity and vaccination. In particular, the concept of “vaccine efficacyµ is prone to misunderstandings and errors. During the pandemic, these errors led to a sterile polemic against vaccination and misunderstandings about its importance. Today, years later, many people are firmly convinced that vaccines were not the most useful weapon to overcome the pandemic and that vaccination campaigns were a strategic guess by pharmaceutical companies. The reason for this controversy, I believe, lies in the difficulty of envisioning the concept of vaccine efficacy itself. This paper aims to show that the wrong strategies of the human mind and inadequate communication by the media are one of the main factors behind the controversies about vaccines. To this end, an experiment was conducted with a group of physicians belonging to two categories: Primary care physicians and oncologists. The thinking strategies of the doctors in both categories were compared. The data collected showed significant differences between the two groups when searching for information to evaluate the effectiveness of a vaccine. It also showed that the information sought is not disseminated in any way by the media.


  • Covid-19
  • vaccine efficacy
  • vaccine risk assessment
  • thinking strategies
  • vaccines


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