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Europe struggles with vaccine doubts

Friday September 11th 2020

Europe may struggle to get the public to use any approved COVID-19 vaccine, according to an analysis published yesterday.

Many countries on the continent have very low proportions of people who believe vaccines are safe, according to analysis published by The Lancet.

In Lithuania, the proportion is just 19% and in countries such as Poland confidence levels have fallen rapidly – by 11 percentage points last year to just 53% of the population.

However in countries such as Finland, France, Italy, Ireland and the UK confidence levels have increased steadily and by last November 52% of Britons agreed vaccines were safe.

Globally Iraq, Liberia and Senegal have the greatest confidence in childhood vaccination – while the lowest levels of confidence are found in Hong Kong, Russia and Albania.

Researcher Clarissa Simas, from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK, said: “Our findings suggest that people do not necessarily dismiss the importance of vaccinating their children even if they have doubts about how safe vaccines are.

"The public seem to generally understand the value of vaccines, but the scientific and public health community needs to do much better at building public trust in the safety of vaccination, particularly with the hope of a COVID-19 vaccine."

Lancet 10 September 2020

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31558-0/fulltext

Tags: Europe | Flu & Viruses | Pharmaceuticals | UK News

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