The term social vaccine has been suggested as a new term to be adopted by the health promotion and health policy community ‘to encourage the bio-medically orientated health sector to recognize legitimacy of action on the distal social, economic and determinants of health. Social vaccine would be promoted as a means to encourage popular mobilization and advocacy to change the social and economic structural conditions that render people and communities vulnerable to disease’ (1, 2). There is urgent need to increase policy and health systems research on these larger social, economic, political and cultural parameters that influence health and social change. Social vaccines require more research to improve our understanding of the social and political processes likely to improve health equity worldwide. Compared with the resources invested in researching vaccines for just a single disease, the investment in research relevant to providing evidence for and testing social vaccine has been minimal (3).
Two definitions have been evolved to try and build this metaphor further.
1.Narayan R. Towards a Social Vaccine Challenges for Research, Forum 10 Global Forum for Health research, Cairo Egypt, 2006.
2.Fran Baum, Ravi Narayan, David Sanders, Vikram Patel and Arturo Quizhpe, Social vaccines to resist and change unhealthy social and economic structures: a useful metaphor for health promotion, Health Promotion International, 2009 Vol. 24 No. 4, 428-433.
3.McCoy.D Sanders D, Baum, F, Narayan.T, and Legge, D (2004). Pushing the international health research agenda towards equity and effectiveness Lancet. 364-1630-1631.
4.Thomas,I,N. Towards a Broader Understanding Of Social Vaccine: A Discussion Paper, SOCHARA, 2006.