Semantic network analysis of vaccine sentiment in online social media

Background: Vaccine hesitancy continues to contribute to suboptimal vaccination coverage in the United States, posing significant risk of disease outbreaks, yet remains poorly understood. Methods: We constructed semantic networks of vaccine information from internet articles shared by Twitter users in the United States. We analyzed resulting network topology, compared semantic differences, and identified the most salient concepts within networks expressing positive, negative, and neutral vaccine sentiment. Results: The semantic network of positive vaccine sentiment demonstrated greater cohesiveness in discourse compared to the larger, less-connected network of negative vaccine sentiment. The positive sentiment network centered around parents and focused on communicating health risks and benefits, highlighting medical concepts such as measles, autism, HPV vaccine, vaccine-autism link, meningococcal disease, and MMR vaccine. In contrast, the negative network centered around children and focused on organizationa


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Added on: 09 June, 2017
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