This international survey carried out by WIN/Gallup International collected the data as part of the annual End of Year survey 2016. Survey responses were either collected through face-to-face interviews, telephone or online, based on phone and internet availability in each country.
Nearly 66,000 people were surveyed across 67 countries to discover their views on whether vaccines are important, safe, effective, and compatible with their religious beliefs.
The survey revealed that public confidence in vaccines varies widely between countries and regions around the world, and that the European region is the most sceptical about vaccine safety. With recent disease outbreaks triggered by people refusing vaccination, the authors believe the findings provide valuable insights, which could help policymakers identify and address issues.
This new study, published in EBioMedicine (find reference below), is led by researchers from the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, together with co-authors at Imperial College London and the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore.
Study lead author, Dr Heidi Larson from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said:
"Our findings give an insight into public opinion about vaccines on an unprecedented scale. It is vital to global public health that we regularly monitor attitudes towards vaccines so that we can quickly identify countries or groups with declining confidence. We can then act swiftly to investigate what is driving the shift in attitudes. This gives us the best chance of preventing possible outbreaks of diseases like measles, polio and meningitis which can cause illness, life-long disability and death".