Vaccine hesitancy isn’t just a problem in the United States; a large, global vaccine confidence survey released Thursday found that there are hesitancy hotspots around the world.

Tracking attitudes towards vaccines is especially important at a time when one or more vaccines against the novel coronavirus are expected to become available soon. The large-scale acceptance and uptake of an effective vaccine could help end the pandemic sooner rather than later.   

“It is vital with new and emerging disease threats such as the Covid-19 pandemic that we regularly monitor public attitudes to quickly identify countries and groups with declining confidence, so we can help guide where we need to build trust to optimize uptake of new life-saving vaccines,” Heidi Larson of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, who led the survey team, said in a statement. 

The new research examines the beliefs of more than 284,000 adults from 149 countries about how safe, effective and important vaccines are. Data was collected from 290 nationally representative surveys conducted between September 2015 and December 2019; some countries were surveyed just once while others were surveyed several times. 

The study was published Thursday in The Lancet. 

Among the findings: vaccine confidence in Europe remains low compared to other regions, ranging from a low of 19% in Lithuania who strongly agree that vaccines are safe to a high of 66% in Finland.

But the researchers found signs that public trust in vaccine safety is increasing, particularly in Finland, France, Italy, Ireland and the United Kingdom.  

In contrast, six countries saw substantial increases in people strongly disagreeing vaccines are safe — not just being less convinced, but actively opposing the use of vaccines—between 2015 and 2019: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Serbia.   

The researchers note that this “worrying trend” in negative attitudes mirrors trends in political instability and religious extremism. Poland saw a significant loss in confidence in vaccine safety, reflecting the growing impact of a highly organized local anti-vaccine movement. 

In the US: The percentage of respondents who strongly agree that vaccines are safe remained steady between 2015 and 2019, in the 50-59.9% range.

Those who strongly agreed that vaccines are important increased in the US to between 70 and 80% in 2019 while the percentage saying vaccines are effective went up to 60-69.9%.

Tracking attitudes towards vaccines is especially important at a time when one or more vaccines against the novel coronavirus are expected to become available soon. The large-scale acceptance and uptake of an effective vaccine could help end the pandemic sooner rather than later.   

“It is vital with new and emerging disease threats such as the Covid-19 pandemic that we regularly monitor public attitudes to quickly identify countries and groups with declining confidence, so we can help guide where we need to build trust to optimize uptake of new life-saving vaccines,” Heidi Larson of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, who led the survey team, said in a statement. 

The new research examines the beliefs of more than 284,000 adults from 149 countries about how safe, effective and important vaccines are. Data was collected from 290 nationally representative surveys conducted between September 2015 and December 2019; some countries were surveyed just once while others were surveyed several times. 

The study was published Thursday in The Lancet. 

Among the findings: vaccine confidence in Europe remains low compared to other regions, ranging from a low of 19% in Lithuania who strongly agree that vaccines are safe to a high of 66% in Finland.

But the researchers found signs that public trust in vaccine safety is increasing, particularly in Finland, France, Italy, Ireland and the United Kingdom.  

In contrast, six countries saw substantial increases in people strongly disagreeing vaccines are safe — not just being less convinced, but actively opposing the use of vaccines—between 2015 and 2019: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Serbia.   

The researchers note that this “worrying trend” in negative attitudes mirrors trends in political instability and religious extremism. Poland saw a significant loss in confidence in vaccine safety, reflecting the growing impact of a highly organized local anti-vaccine movement. 

In the US: The percentage of respondents who strongly agree that vaccines are safe remained steady between 2015 and 2019, in the 50-59.9% range.

Those who strongly agreed that vaccines are important increased in the US to between 70 and 80% in 2019 while the percentage saying vaccines are effective went up to 60-69.9%.

Source : CNN

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