Guardians want what is best for their families, yet some are putting their children at risk. Children are in danger of contracting infectious diseases without vaccinations. This is vaccine hesitancy, the refusal to vaccinate despite available vaccines. Currently vaccine hesitancy is one of the top 10 threats to global health(1). Reducing it is a global health priority; without vaccination preventable diseases will continue to kill millions.

There has been a resurgence of concern regarding vaccine safety amongst the public, lending to the global return of vaccine preventable diseases. Reluctance to vaccinate will threaten decades of progress in the fight against infectious diseases. The impact of reduced vaccinations can already be seen: 112,163 measle cases have been reported in 170 countries to the World Health Organization (WHO) (2019) (2). Measles is not the only disease causing concern; diarrhea, pneumonia, polio and whooping cough are also vaccine preventable diseases that could increase if hesitancy rises(3). Vaccines have prevented 2-3 million deaths each year(4).

How has vaccine hesitancy successfully gained attention in global health? The Shiffman and Smith framework – with its 4 key elements of actor power, ideas, context, and issue characteristics – provides a compelling rationale(5).

Keep reading here to see how Vaccine Hesitancy made its way onto political agendas and grabbed the attention of policy makers and world health organizations:Vaccine Hesitancy Receives Global Attention 2020 p_oleary


  • Karlinna says:

    I had no idea the power that getting vaccinated held. From reading this article, it has really made me grateful that I have access and the health care to receive these vaccinations. I had no idea that vaccine hesitancy is one of the top 10 threats to global health. If people are able to have vaccines, why do you think their is a hesitancy to be vaccinated? Especially when you highlighted that vaccines prevented 2-3 million deaths each year.
    Thank you for helping realize the power of vaccines!

  • Manuel says:

    Great article Paige. There are significant number of individuals who don’t believe in vaccines. I feel like this is one of the reasons why America opened up their businesses early. Even if there was a Covid vaccine, I believe some would be hesitant to receive it, due to their personal beliefs or other factors.

    A few months ago I read a tweet that stated “Your health is as safe as that of the worst-insured, worst-cared-for person in your society. It will be decided by the height of the floor, not the ceiling.” As you mentioned, I think to truly eradicate the “vaccine hesitant” way of thought, we have to find a way to remove all the barriers.

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