Global health challenges
Confidence in vaccination
Maintaining and growing confidence in vaccination is an urgent public health issue. The biopharmaceutical industry is playing a crucial role by researching, developing, communicating around quality vaccines with demonstrated safety and efficacy profiles.
Vaccine hesitancy refers to a delay in acceptance or refusal of vaccines despite availability of vaccination services that have been deemed safe and effective by regulatory authorities. Although its causes are complex and context specific, vaccine hesitancy threatens to reverse progress made in tackling vaccine-preventable diseases. The impact of vaccine hesitancy was notable in recent global outbreaks of measles, including in countries that had previously been free of the disease.
Addressing vaccine hesitancy is therefore crucial to securing global health security and ensuring more productive and resilient countries, achieving the new WHO Immunization Agenda 2030, and meeting the Sustainable Development Goals and Universal Health Coverage targets.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given us all a glimpse into what the world looks like without vaccination. Coordinated action is needed at the global, regional, national and local levels to build and sustain confidence in vaccines and ensure resilient immunization programs are in place. Partnerships and collaborations from all players are essential in gaining a full understanding of the complex factors leading to vaccine hesitancy, addressing the problem and boosting vaccine confidence globally.
- Maintaining and growing confidence in vaccination is an urgent public health issue; crucial to preventing the spread of disease, recovering vaccination coverage rates following the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring that vaccination can continue to protect and enhance the health and well-being of everyone, ensuring more productive and resilient countries contributing to national development and prosperity.
- Despite the widespread availability of many vaccines with demonstrated safety and efficacy profiles, we continue to see outbreaks, disability and deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases including measles, polio and influenza. Despite the success of developing a COVID-19 vaccine in record time, we will only be successful if people are prepared to get vaccinated.
- Through coordinated action across all stakeholders and a focus on building resilient immunization programs, routine vaccination can continue to protect millions of lives every year and support the recovery from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- As a key partner in global health, vaccine companies are playing an important role in building and sustaining vaccine confidence by developing high quality vaccines with demonstrated safety and efficacy profiles to meet some of the world’s most challenging health needs.
Research-based vaccine companies have a track record in researching, developing, manufacturing and distributing safe and effective vaccines. They are leveraging their global networks and unique scientific, regulatory and environmental knowledge of vaccination to support authorities worldwide to anticipate emerging threats, develop innovative solutions and share accurate, scientific-based information. Through impactful partnerships, vaccine companies are building capacities and networks to support resilient and sustainable national immunization programs around the world. They are communicating and collaborating to maintain and grow confidence in vaccination, by supporting:
- Global and national digital vaccination confidence campaigns;
- Initiatives to advance understanding of how social media and behavioural sciences can be best leveraged;
- Education programs that equip healthcare professionals with the right messages and tools;
- Programs that promote vaccine literacy and encourage vaccination among employees, suppliers, and customers;
- Stakeholders of the vaccine ecosystem including patient organizations, medical associations, NGOs and faith-based groups.
Vaccines have a favorable safety and effectiveness profile as demonstrated by clinical studies and surveillance, yet a reluctance or refusal to vaccinate, known as ‘vaccine hesitancy’, threatens to reverse the progress made in tackling vaccine-preventable diseases.
In 2019, WHO identified vaccine hesitancy as one of its top 10 global health threats highlighting the need for the global community to collaborate to address the problem, and find ways to boost confidence in vaccination and create resilient immunization programs.
2-3 million deaths prevented
thanks to vaccines
20 life-threatening disease
prevented thanks to vaccines
90% of countries
identified hesitancy as an evolving threat to their immunization programs