In 2019, the World Health Organization identified vaccine hesitancy as one of the 10 greatest threats to global health. It is very worrying because it poses significant risks not only to the hesitant individual but also to the wider community. Vaccine hesitancy has resulted in outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases. For example, there were measles outbreaks in Europe and North America between 2018 and 2020. There was a polio vaccine boycott in Nigeria in 2003 and 2004. And COVID-19 is rapidly becoming a pandemic of unvaccinated people. Many factors contribute to hesitancy towards COVID-19 vaccines. But the general concerns are about safety, efficacy and novelty. The pandemic has brought a lot of uncertainty and rapid change. There’s also been an explosion of information and misinformation about the virus, the disease and the vaccines. Along with concerns specific to COVID-19, some people are opposed to vaccines generally.
SOURCE: THE CONVERSATION