Vaccines — Open Access Journal
(Accessed 19 Oct 2019)
Open Access Article
Comparisons of Vaccine Hesitancy across Five Low- and Middle-Income Countries
by Abram L. Wagner , Nina B. Masters , Gretchen J. Domek , Joseph L. Mathew , Xiaodong Sun , Edwin J. Asturias , Jia Ren , Zhuoying Huang , Ingrid L. Contreras-Roldan , Berhanu Gebremeskel and Matthew L. Boulton
Vaccines 2019, 7(4), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines7040155 (registering DOI) – 18 Oct 2019
Vaccine hesitancy is a continuum of behaviors ranging from delay in receipt to vaccination refusal. Prior studies have typically focused on high-income countries, where vaccine hesitancy is particularly prevalent in more affluent groups, but the relationship between socioeconomic status and vaccine hesitancy in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) is less clear. The aim of this study was to describe vaccine hesitancy in five LMICs. Mothers of children in Sirajganj, Bangladesh (n = 60), Shanghai, China (n = 788), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (n = 341), Guatemala City and Quetzaltenango, Guatemala (n = 767), and Chandigarh, India (n = 309), completed a survey between 2016 and 2018 using the WHO’s 10-item Vaccine Hesitancy Scale. The scores of different constructs were compared across countries and by the mother’s education level using linear regression models with generalized estimating equations. Compared to mothers in China, mothers in Bangladesh perceived less vaccination benefit (β: 0.56, P = 0.0001), however, mothers in Ethiopia (β: −0.54, P < 0.0001) and Guatemala (β: −0.74, P = 0.0004) perceived greater benefit. Education level was not significantly linked with vaccine hesitancy. Local circumstances are important to consider when developing programs to promote vaccines. We did not find consistent associations between education and vaccine hesitancy. More research is needed to understand socio-cultural influences on vaccine decision-making.