Survey reveals European region has lowest vaccine confidence – Wellcome Global Monitor harnesses LSHTM expertise

Caption: Wellcome Global Monitor vaccine safety. Credit: Wellcome Trust

In a new Wellcome Trust report launched today on public trust in science and health, a special focus on attitudes to vaccines reports that the Europe is the least vaccine confident region in the 140 country global study.

The Vaccine Confidence Index, established by LSHTM’s Vaccine Confidence Project, was used to measure public confidence in the importance, safety and effectiveness of vaccines, building on its previous years of surveys since the first global study in 2016 using the Vaccine Confidence Index.

Professor Heidi Larson, Director of the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said:  “The new Wellcome Global Monitor situates our Vaccine Confidence Index findings across 140 countries in the context of overall public trust in science and health which is crucial to understanding the external levers of influence. Similar to our previous studies using our Vaccine Confidence Index, Europe remains the least confident in vaccines.”

The UK confidence levels in vaccine safety are the highest in Europe and more similar to the USA, although both are in the lower half of the global ranking, between the high of 98% confidence in safety in Bangladesh and only 29% confidence in safety in the Ukraine.

Professor Larson said: “One important message from the Global Monitor is that self confidence in scientific knowledge is the highest among those under 30 years old, which is also the group that the Vaccine Confidence Project has found to be least confident in vaccines. This population is the next generation of parents so it’s vital we engage with them to understand what’s driving this vaccine hesitancy which could threaten their children’s future health.”

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