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Vaccine hesitancy around the globe: Analysis of three years of WHO/UNICEF Joint Reporting Form data-2015–2017

Lane, Sarah, MacDonald, Noni E., Marti, Melanie, Dumolard, Laure
Vaccine 2018 v.36 no.26 pp. 3861-3867
World Health Organization, experts, income, vaccination, vaccines
In order to gather a global picture of vaccine hesitancy and whether/how it is changing, an analysis was undertaken to review three years of data available as of June 2017 from the WHO/UNICEF Joint Report Form (JRF) to determine the reported rate of vaccine hesitancy across the globe, the cited reasons for hesitancy, if these varied by country income level and/or by WHO region and whether these reasons were based upon an assessment. The reported reasons were classified using the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization matrix of hesitancy determinants ( Hesitancy was common, reported by >90% of countries. The list of cited reasons was long and covered 22 of 23 WHO determinants matrix categories. Even the most frequently cited category, risk- benefit (scientific evidence e.g. vaccine safety concerns), accounted for less than one quarter of all reasons cited. The reasons varied by country income level, by WHO region and over time and within a country. Thus based upon this JRF data, across the globe countries appear to understand the SAGE vaccine hesitancy definition and use it to report reasons for hesitancy. However, the rigour of the cited reasons could be improved as only just over 1/3 of countries reported that their reasons were assessment based, the rest were opinion based. With respect to any assessment in the previous five years, upper middle income countries were the least likely to have done an assessment. These analyses provided some of the evidence for the 2017 Assessment Report of the Global Vaccine Action Plan recommendation that each country develop a strategy to increase acceptance and demand for vaccination, which should include ongoing community engagement and trust-building, active hesitancy prevention, regular national assessment of vaccine concerns, and crisis response planning (