While confidence in vaccination in the European Union (EU) is high overall, there is large regional variation, and confidence is declining in many EU Member States, a new European Commission survey report shows.
While some EU countries - including France, Greece, Italy and Slovenia - have become more confident in vaccine safety since 2015, the Czech Republic, Finland, Poland and Sweden have become less confident over the same period, the study reports.
The study found younger adults have less confidence in the safety and importance of both the MMR and seasonal influenza vaccines and vaccines generally than older age groups.
There was also a correlation between general practitioner (GP) confidence and public confidence in vaccines, with 36 per cent of surveyed GPs in the Czech Republic and 25 per cent in Slovakia not agreeing that the MMR vaccine is safe, and 29 per cent and 19 per cent, respectively, not believing it is important. The majority of GPs surveyed in these countries also indicated they would be unlikely to recommend seasonal influenza vaccine to pregnant women.
Seven out of the 10 countries worldwide with the lowest vaccine confidence are in Europe (four are EU Member States), with the rising influence of anti-vaccine groups partly blamed.