Vaccine access and uptake
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.