Addressing vaccine hesitancy and misinformation protects public health

While vaccinations are the most effective way to save lives and protect public health worldwide, public hesitancy, driven by misinformation, can reduce the success of vaccination programmes, disease elimination, or eradication, says a new report from Public Health Wales.

Vaccines currently save between three and a half and five million lives worldwide, every year, but vaccine availability alone is not enough to reach all those eligible and any programme must be accepted by people and communities to be the most effective.

The report that looks at experiences, policies, programmes, and evidence from around the world states that although digital misinformation is one of the greatest drivers for reducing vaccine acceptance, trust is the biggest driver for acceptance and that health professionals are often the most trusted information source.

Communication campaigns are therefore essential for vaccination programmes in gaining people’s trust and acceptance by providing credible information, influencing attitudes and behaviours and generating demand.

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