Vaccine acceptance: Science, policy, and practice in a ‘post-fact’ world

Volume 37, Issue 5  Pages 677-762 (29 January 2019)

Conference report
Vaccine acceptance: Science, policy, and practice in a ‘post-fact’ world
Katie Attwell, Eve Dube, Arnaud Gagneur, Saad B. Omer, … Angus Thomson
Pages 677-682
Suboptimal vaccination uptake may be associated with outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases in many parts of the world. Researchers and practitioners working on improving vaccine acceptance and uptake gathered together for the fifth annual meeting on vaccine acceptance, organized by the Fondation Mérieux at its conference centre in Veyrier-du-Lac, France, to share their experiences in building, improving and sustaining vaccine confidence and uptake. The importance and value of truly listening to people and seeking to understand the perspectives of vaccine hesitant people was emphasized throughout the meeting. The benefits of social marketing, which can be used to influence behavior that benefit individuals and communities for the greater social good, and its integration into strategies aimed at improving vaccine acceptance and uptake, were discussed. Healthcare professionals (HCPs) need tools and training to help them engage effectively in vaccination acceptance conversations with parents and other patients. Two potential tools, motivational interviewing (MI) and AIMS (Announce, Inquire, Mirror, Secure), were presented. Examples of MI approaches that have successfully improved vaccination acceptance and uptake included a project in Canada aimed at parents just after the birth of their baby. The role of mandates to increase vaccination uptake in the short-term was discussed, but to achieve sustainable vaccination uptake this must be complemented with other strategies. These annual meetings have led to the creation of an informal community of practice that facilitates cross-pollination between the various disciplines and different settings of those involved in this area of research and implementation. It was agreed that we must continue our efforts to promote vaccine acceptance and thus increase vaccination uptake, by fostering more effective vaccination communication, monitoring of the media conversation on vaccination, designing and rigorously evaluating targeted interventions, and surveillance of vaccine acceptance and uptake with pertinent, reliable measures.