School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences Faculty Publications and Presentations

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In this paper, we introduce a novel model for parental decision-making about vaccinations against a childhood disease that spreads through a contact network. This model considers a bilayer network comprising two overlapping networks, which are either Erdős–Rényi (random) networks or Barabási–Albert networks. The model also employs a Bayesian aggregation rule for observational social learning on a social network. This new model encompasses other decision models, such as voting and DeGroot models, as special cases. Using our model, we demonstrate how certain levels of social learning about vaccination preferences can converge opinions, influencing vaccine uptake and ultimately disease spread. In addition, we explore how two different cultures of social learning affect the establishment of social norms of vaccination and the uptake of vaccines. In every scenario, the interplay between the dynamics of observational social learning and disease spread is influenced by the network’s topology, along with vaccine safety and availability.


© 2024 Oraby and Balogh. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Frontiers in Epidemiology





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