—Vaccine confidence has increased in parts of Europe in recent years, according to a study published online Sept. 10 in The Lancet.
Alexandre de Figueiredo, Ph.D., from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and colleagues examined global trends in vaccine confidence using data from 290 surveys across 149 countries and involving 284,381 individuals. Estimates of public perceptions toward the safety, importance, and effectiveness of vaccines were produced.
The researchers found that confidence in the importance, safety, and effectiveness of vaccines decreased in Afghanistan, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines, and South Korea between November 2015 and December 2019. Significant increases in respondents strongly disagreeing that the vaccines are safe were found in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Serbia between 2015 and 2019. In some European Union member states, there were signs that confidence had improved between 2018 and 2019, including in Finland, France, Ireland, and Italy; recent losses in confidence were identified in Poland. The strongest univariate association with vaccine uptake was seen for confidence in the importance of vaccines compared with other determinants considered.
“The Vaccine Confidence Index provides a valuable baseline of confidence levels to measure change in times of evolving disease threats and to help to identify where more trust building is needed to optimize uptake of new life-saving vaccines,” the authors write.
Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.