Trust in vaccine safety growing in Europe, dipping in Asia: Report

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on September 12, 2020

According to a study published in the Lancet Medical Journal, public trust in vaccine safety is increasing in Europe and has plummeted in Asia and Africa.

The researchers stated in their study this is due to political instability and a growing sense of distrust in the vaccine safety.

According to the World Health Organization, vaccine hesitancy is one of the top 10 global health threats.

The study revealed that over 3,00,000 respondents from Europe show trust in vaccine safety.


Trust in vaccine safety has increased in France, the country where confidence was reported low for decades. The confidence increased from 22 per cent to 30 per cent of people. Now 30 per cent of them strongly agree that the vaccines are safe to consume.

In Britain, confidence in vaccine safety surged from 47 per cent in May 2018 to 52 per cent in November 2019.

When it comes to Asia, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Pakistan saw a significant increase in the number of people who strongly disagree that vaccines are safe.

Researchers believe that this trend is also because of religious extremism and political instability.

Heidi Larson from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who led the research, believes that online misinformation and public distrust in politicians may have played a role.

"When there is a large drop in vaccination coverage, it is often because there's an unproven vaccine safety scare seeding doubt and distrust," she said in the study.

Researchers urged governments to ramp up public information drives as well as distribution infrastructure so that people develop trust in vaccine safety.

Daniel Salmon from John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health said as cited in the AFP report: "There is a risk of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines never reaching their potential due to a continued inability to quickly and effectively respond to public vaccine safety concerns, real or otherwise."

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Published on September 12, 2020
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