In two countries, IMs noted that there were concerns among the Muslim population due to suspected use of porcine
components in vaccines. Finally, introduction of new vaccines or new indications was perceived (more or less explicitly) as contributing to vaccine hesitancy in four countries. In one country, the introduction of new and costly vaccines was seen as triggering vaccine hesitancy. The country will soon introduce PCV, and this may be a new reason for people to hesitate and for those who do not believe in vaccines to voice their opinions and be active against vaccination (Country BVD523 F). This study revealed a number of challenges concerning vaccine hesitancy, starting with discrepancies in how the term was understood and interpreted by IMs. It was not consistently defined and several IMs interpreted it, explicitly or implicitly, as limited only to
vaccine refusal. Several noted stock outs as a cause. Yet the definition developed by the Working Group specifies that vaccine hesitancy refers to delay in acceptance or refusal of vaccines despite availability of vaccine services. This indicates that the proposed definition, while broad and inclusive, will need to be promoted among IMs if vaccine hesitancy is to be comparably 17-AAG cost assessed in different settings Some IMs considered the impact of vaccine hesitancy on immunization programmes to be a minor problem, possibly due to their interpretation of the terminology. The findings when questioned about lack of confidence in vaccination well illustrate the problem. The IMs all struggled when asked to provide an estimate of the percentage of non-vaccinated and under-vaccinated
individuals in their countries for whom lack of confidence was a factor. This could be related to difficulty in quantifying such a variable and/or to lack of clarity and understanding of the term “lack of confidence” in this context. The findings show that vaccine hesitancy was not restricted GPX6 to any specific region or continent but exists worldwide. While some IMs considered the impact of vaccine hesitancy on immunization programmes to be a minor problem in their country, for others it was more serious. Although some IMs associated vaccine hesitancy with particular religious or ethnic groups, most agreed that vaccine hesitancy is not limited to specific communities, and exists across all socioeconomic strata of the population. Some IMs associated it with highly educated individuals, which is in agreement with previous studies in different settings showing that non-compliant individuals often appear to be well-informed people who have considerable interest in health-related issues and actively seek information  and . Two IMs emphasized that health professionals may themselves be vaccine-hesitant.