Vaccine access and uptake

Policy Briefing

Published 20/04/2021

Vaccine access and uptake cover Page 1

This briefing note explores factors influencing the access and uptake of vaccines; the different approaches taken by public health authorities to promote vaccines; and the ethical considerations that arise in this context.

Girl getting vaccinated

Introduction

Most countries have vaccination programmes as part of their public health agenda, with support from global agencies. Vaccines targeting more than 20 life-threatening diseases are currently in use, some reaching over 85% of their target population. However, vaccine coverage is highly uneven at a global level. There are also concerns about a loss of confidence and a decline in the uptake of vaccines where they are available and have previously been widely accepted. Declining confidence in vaccines, sometimes referred to as ‘vaccine hesitancy’, has been declared a major health threat by the WHO.

This briefing note explores factors influencing the access and uptake of vaccines; the different approaches taken by public health authorities to promote vaccines; and the ethical considerations that arise in this context.

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