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Table 3 Recurrent themes in the newspaper articles

From: Dynamics in public perceptions and media coverage during an ongoing outbreak of meningococcal W disease in the Netherlands

Theme Sub-themes Description Exemplifying quote
1. Probability IMD a. Statistics Information about the number of morbidity and/or mortality cases in the Netherlands This year, 65 people have become seriously ill with type W meningococci. Of these, 15 died, four more than in all of 2017.a
b. Rise in infections A verbal description of the rise in meningococcal (W) disease Since 2015, more adolescents have fallen ill with meningococci. In addition, more people die of meningococcal disease every year.b
c. Individual risk A verbal description of the probability of developing meningococcal (W) disease for an individual “Despite the rise, the probability of becoming infected is very small, but to prevent worse, we have to intervene,” says [name Secretary of State].c
d. Relative risk A description of the risk of infection for one group compared with another group or the general population “Meningococcal disease occurs in all age groups, but especially in young children, teens, and the elderly.d
2. Severity IMD a. Disease information Information about symptoms and/or disease progression and/or long-term consequences of IMD (W) The meningococci can spread at lightning speed, cause blood poisoning, and affect the meninges, which can cause a person to die within 24 h.e
b. Fatality Reference to the possible fatal consequences of IMD (W) What may be perceived as a serious case of the flu can lead to a life-threatening infection in a short period, in which the patient has to be treated in the intensive care unit of the hospital.f
c. Individual cases References to/stories about individuals who contracted IMD (W) disease After an agony of almost three weeks, his parents turned off the ventilation. [name], a 17-year-old, until then always healthy, boy, is dead.g
3. MenACWY vaccination a. Vaccine safety/ effectiveness Information about the effectiveness, duration of protection and/or safety of the menACWY vaccine This vaccine is very likely to work well. It has few side effects and it is expected to also provide group protection.h
b. Vaccine shortage Information about the menACWY vaccine shortage and the increase in demand for the menACWY vaccine outside the vaccination campaign Those who go to the doctor now to get vaccinated against meningococcal type W, are out of luck. “Because there are not enough vaccines, we are choosing to give it to the 14-year-old children,” says [name RIVM employee].i
c. Questioning policy Texts that question the policy regarding the timing of the implementation and/or the choice of target groups for the menACWY vaccination ,I think it is strange that us citizens have not been informed before. This disease is a silent killer; even if you survive it you could be disabled. The government could have acted earlier […]j
1.Reference to institutions Institution Description Exemplifying quote
a. Government References to the government in relation to the IMD/menACWY situation State Secretary [name] (Public Health) starts the large-scale additional vaccination campaign because the insidious infectious disease has been claiming more and more victims in recent years.k
b. RIVM References to the RIVM in relation to the IMD/menACWY situation The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) launched a new vaccination campaign against meningococcal disease targeting young people on Monday afternoon.l
c. Pharmaceutical companies References to a pharmaceutical company or pharmaceutical companies in general in relation to the IMD/menACWY situation In an email from September 2016, seen by [name newspaper], drug manufacturer [name] points out to the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) that the number of cases due to meningococcal type W has risen sharply.m
  1. aNieuwenhuis, M. (2018, July 19). Meningococci increasingly deadly, especially among teenagers (In Dutch: Meningokokken steeds dodelijker, vooral bij tieners). Algemeen Dagblad, p.7
  2. bDe Jong, M. (2019, April 19) Inoculation factory against meningococci (In Dutch: Prikfabriek tegen meningokokken). De Telegraaf, p.15
  3. cNieuwenhuis, M. (2018, July 18). Large vaccination campaign against meningococci (In Dutch: Grote inentingsactie tegen meningokokken). Algemeen Dagblad, p.6
  4. dSpeksnijder, C. (2018, May 31). From Chile via England: Meningococcus is back (In Dutch: V a n u i t C h i l i v i a E n g e l a n d : d e m e n i n g o k o k i s t e r u g ). De Volkskrant, p.12
  5. eNieuwenhuis, M. (2019, July 10). Deadly bacteria is shedding (In Dutch: Dodelijke bacterie legt het af). Algemeen Dagblad, p.7.
  6. fVoormolen, S. (2018, September 11). In a hurry with vaccination against meningococci (In Dutch: Haast met vaccinatie tegen meningokokken). NRC Handelsblad, p.8
  7. gTen Broeke, A. (2018, November 2). Vaccinating in times of capitalism (In Dutch: Vaccineren in tijden van kapitalisme). De Volkskrant, p.25
  8. hNieuwenhuis, M. (2018, December 19). “Inoculation against type W useful for all Dutch people” (In Dutch: “Prik tegen type W nuttig voor álle Nederlanders”). Algemeen Dagblad, p.5
  9. iNieuwenhuis, M. (2018, July 1). Shortage of vaccines against deadly bacteria (In Dutch: Tekort vaccins tegen dodelijke bacterie). Algemeen Dagblad, p.9
  10. jVan der Kaaden, A. (2018, December 31). “Our youngest daughter recently asked me: Mom will you ever be happy again?” (In Dutch: “Onze jongste dochter vroeg me laatst: mam word je weer gelukkig?”). NRC Handelsblad, p.1
  11. kLengton, I. (2018, July 17). New inoculation offensive (in Dutch: Nieuw prikoffensief ). De Telegraaf, p.7
  12. lUnknown author. (2018, September 10). RIVM starts campaign against communicable disease meningococcus (In Dutch: RIVM start campagne tegen infectieziekte meningokok). Reformatorisch Dagblad, p.12
  13. mEfting, M. & Misérus, M. (2018, September 14). Government knew about meningococcus danger in 2016 (In Dutch: Rijk wist in 2016 al van meningokok-gevaar). De Volkskrant, p.1