Nepal | January 16, 2021

Vaccine adherence in public depends on professional source: study

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KATHMANDU: People have a tendency not to believe in vaccines when they learn about them online or through friends, a research published in a journal – Expert Review of Vaccines, finds.

The new research from Nazarbayev University’s School of Medicine concluded that a large percentage of vaccine hesitancy among the participants seemed to be influenced by several factors, most notably poor vaccine knowledge and the source of information.

Those who trusted their healthcare providers appear to have no concerns about vaccinations. Hence, healthcare providers can play an influential role that can possibly change parents from being vaccine hesitant to vaccine acceptant.

Vaccines are one of the most important inventions in human history, providing us with protection against several infectious diseases. However, there is a global decrease in the rate of vaccination and an increase in outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.

Dr Zylkiya Akhmetzhanova and colleagues studied the attitudes and views of 387 participants toward vaccines and childhood vaccination: 71 percent believed vaccines were effective and 65 percent believed they were good, while 35 percent were still sceptical or hesitant toward vaccines. Interestingly, 22 percent still attributed autism to childhood vaccinations. The participant’s level of education did not appear to influence whether someone was vaccine hesitant or not.

Dr Mohamad Aljofan, the senior author of the study, shared, “Vaccine hesitancy or refusal is one of the most important global health threats of our time. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that over 1.5 million children die from vaccine-preventable disease globally and that immunisation programmes save more than 3.2 million lives a year. However, there is a global increase in the rate of scepticism and hesitancy over-vaccinating children. We believe the reasons for vaccine refusal are similar across countries and appear to be based on “pseudoscience” or false claims of major vaccine side effects.”

Hence, as per the study, doctors and other healthcare providers play a significant role in improving vaccine acceptance, especially when we are in a pandemic, and during flu seasons so that vaccines may provide fruitful solutions.

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