Recognizing that addressing vaccine hesitancy is a priority in many LNCT countries, the Vaccine Confidence ProjectTM at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) conducted a landscape to identify the key hesitancy challenges faced by LNCT countries and the strategies they use to address them. To capture and frame country experiences of vaccine hesitancy, LSHTM and Curatio International Foundation conducted in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with immunization experts (e.g. EPI program, Ministry of Health, and National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups (NITAGs)) from LNCT countries. In total, 41 immunization experts from 12 countries (Armenia, Georgia, Ghana, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Moldova, Nigeria, São Tomé e Príncipe, Sudan, Timor-Leste, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam) participated.
The key findings were that:
- The most prevalent concerns among parents regarded potential side effects of vaccines reported in the media, by GPs, or by people they knew; trust issues around new vaccines; the halal status of vaccines; and distrust in the government.
- Multiple participants reported mistrust of new vaccines and concerns about new products and manufacturers and the impact of rumors and misconceptions.
- Participants referred to healthcare professionals, such as doctors and nurses, as having influence on vaccination decisions. Particularly highlighted were issues with healthcare staff, including healthcare provider attitudes to vaccination and a lack of education on vaccines.
- Many participants stressed the issue of anti-vaccination and misinformation spreading on social media.