World Vaccination Report, The [World Service]


The Evidence: Vaccination2019061920190622 (WS)

Vaccination is considered to be one of the 20th century’s biggest public health successes. But there is a growing reluctance in some countries or cultures to vaccinate.

The Evidence – Vaccination looks at the factors which influence public confidence towards vaccines and examines the attitudes in different countries and includes new data from the Wellcome Global Monitor, where 140,000 people from 140 countries were surveyed.

Shaimaa Khalil looks at the differing viewpoints globally and asks about the role of social media and politics.

Recorded at Wellcome Collection with a live audience we hear about people’s experience, choices and questions about vaccination.

Presenter Shaimaa Khalil asks the panel what has changed, did scientists get too complacent, what role does social media play and would making vaccines compulsory backfire?

Answering these questions are Beate Kampmann, Director of the Vaccine Centre at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Emilie Karafillakis from the Vaccine Confidence Centre, Mario Mosquera-Vasque, a health communication expert with UNICEF who focuses on Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and Alberto Giubilini, a philosopher and medical ethicist at the University of Oxford

The Evidence is produced in collaboration with Wellcome Collection.

Presenter: Shaimaa Khalil
Producer: Geraldine Fitzgerald

Image: ‘Glass Microbiology’ sculpture of Ebola Virus by Luke Jerram
Credit: Wellcome Collection

How do attitudes to vaccines differ globally?

Why do people hesitate over vaccinations around the world?

Vaccination is considered to be one of the 20th century’s biggest public health successes. But there is a growing reluctance in some countries, or cultures to vaccinate. In Western Europe the debate centres on the MMR vaccine, in Japan it’s the vaccination against the human papilloma virus (HPV) which prevents cervical cancer and in Kenya there have been claims that the tetanus vaccine makes women sterile. An outbreak of diphtheria in Indonesia in 2018 was linked to rumours that the vaccine wasn’t halal.

The Evidence looks at the factors which influence vaccine hesitancy and examines the attitudes in different countries impacting the rates of vaccination, including new data from the Wellcome Global Monitor, which gives a snapshot on whether people around the world think vaccines are safe and effective. Shaimaa Khalil looks at how people have addressed this in the past and solutions for the future.

New research reveals global attitudes to vaccination.

Vaccination: The Global Picture20190619

This week the Wellcome Trust reveals how attitudes towards vaccinations vary around the world in its Global Monitor. Our guide through the figures is Heidi Larson, Professor of Anthropology, Risk and Decision Science at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She set up the Vaccines Confidence Project ten years ago.

The most vaccine-sceptical country is France – because of scares around vaccines. In neighbouring Germany one state has approved plans to make vaccinations compulsory because of low rates. But in Madagascar where more than 1200 children have died since last autumn from measles, parents walk for miles to have their children inoculated.

Paul Offit, a paediatrician from Philadelphia says that the success of vaccines has meant people have forgotten about the deaths and disabilities which used to result from measles – and parents are now influenced by scare stories about vaccines. More than half of the 1,000 recent cases of measles in the US have been in the Orthodox Jewish community in New York. We hear from some of the parents who still don’t vaccinate.

Sander van der Linden is a psychologist in Cambridge, UK, who wants to “inoculate” people against the impact of fake news – so they can spot how they are being misled by anti-vaccination posts on social media.

Presenter: Claudia Hammond
Producer: Paula McGrath

Why do people hesitate over vaccinations around the world?

Measles was almost eradicated at the beginning of this century in the United States – but now it’s back. So far this year there have been 800 cases of measles, spreading through communities where vaccination rates are low from the Amish in Ohio to the sceptical parents of Vashon Island in Washington state. The mayor of New York has declared a health emergency, ordering mandatory vaccinations under threat of fines – but will such draconian measures be counter-productive?

Resistance to immunisation is not new: a defective batch of a polio vaccine in the 1950s killed 10, paralysed 200 and undermined confidence in all vaccines. This situation was echoed in a dengue vaccine scare in the Philippines which has led to more than 300 deaths from measles so far this year.

Across the world fake news, a lack of access to reliable healthcare and medical supplies, poverty, fake news from politicians and religious leaders and a mistrust of authority are all cited as reasons for vaccination numbers falling.
Conflict in the Ukraine and the Democratic Republic of Congo mean that infectious diseases like measles and Ebola are difficult to contain. But in other African countries like Ghana and Kenya the arrival of a vaccine trial for malaria has been welcomed, so there is some good news.

And as Germany considers compulsory vaccinations because of a measles outbreak – we hear how it might be better to rely on advice from family and friends, text reminders and even ringing a gong to persuade people to vaccinate.

Presented by Claudia Hammond

Claudia Hammond reports on why some around the world refuse to vaccinate their children.