The Harms of Vaccine Hesitancy

What we've seen non-immunized communities do for previously eradicated outbreaks.

A new study published in The Lancet last week showed vaccine confidence in Europe remains low compared to other regions, and ranges from 19% to 66% of country’s residents strongly agreeing that vaccines are safe, as of December 2019.

The findings from the 284,000-adult assessment painted a concerning image of global vaccine hesitancies at a time when coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine candidates are nearing regulatory consideration. But such an issue is not coronavirus-centric.

Just last year, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared vaccine hesitancy a top 10 global health threat.

In an interview with Contagion®, Dan Salmon, PhD, a commentator on the Lancet findings and a clinician with the Department of International Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, discussed how vaccine hesitancy can be specific to not only the prophylaxis itself, but the disease, patient region, and time of consideration.

“It’s really in this climate that we see COVID, and we see the potential introduction of a COVID vaccine coming down the road,” he said. “And it’s exceedingly challenging because we already had huge challenges in vaccine hesitancy.”