A new Eurobarometer which explored Europeans’ attitudes towards vaccination has found that while many Europeans believe vaccination is an effective way to prevent disease, many also believe vaccines can produce severe side effects or cause the diseases against which they protect.
In creating the report, 27,524 people from 28 European Union (EU) Member States were interviewed between the 15th and 29th of March 2019.
Just over half (52%) of the respondents agreed that vaccines are definitely effective in preventing diseases while around one in 10 say vaccines are 'probably not effective' or 'not at all effective'. Almost half (48%) of those surveyed believed that vaccines can often produce severe side effects.
Participants were also surveyed about whether they or a family member had received vaccines in the preceding five years. The most common reason for getting personally vaccinated was that it was recommended by a general practitioner, doctor or paediatrician (63%). The most frequent reasons for not getting vaccinated were no perceived need for it (34%), still covered by earlier vaccines (29%) or had not been offered a vaccine by a doctor (22%).