“Vaccines are one of the most powerful tools in the history of public health, and more children are now being immunized than ever before.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General

Vaccine confidence is a hot topic at the moment, especially given the COVID-19 vaccine discussions in the news. But vaccines, and vaccine confidence, have been in the news far longer than that. And although in 2019 a reported 85% of infants worldwide were vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis, global confidence in vaccination has fallen.

Health professionals call this “vaccine hesitancy”, and it is among the reported top ten current threats to global health. While a vaccine for COVID-19 is eagerly awaited, the Lancet recently reported “confidence in the importance, safety, and effectiveness of vaccines has fallen in many countries”. In response to vaccine hesitancy, the WHO is preparing to launch a Global Vaccine Safety Blueprint 2.0, aimed at encouraging governments to implement vaccine monitoring systems to “ensure that unfounded safety concerns do not affect public confidence in vaccines”.

Additionally, in September the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board released a report titled “A World in Disorder”, identifying anti-vaccine movements as a threat in prolonging the current pandemic. They implore governments to communicate about vaccination effectiveness and possible side effects, while encouraging citizens to play a role in seeking out science-based information on vaccinations and fully understanding their role in preventing disease in their own families and in society. The full report is available here.

Ensuring vaccine confidence

Disease prevention and vaccination go hand in hand. Vaccination is a core component of Antimicrobial Stewardship and Infection Prevention and Control programmes. Your facility should have clearly specified vaccination policies and procedures as part of your facility processes. At Bug Control, we have a range of resources to support your AMS programmes. Our senior consultants have decades of experience in IPC, assisting facilities across Australia and New Zealand to navigate their individual IPC needs.

If you have questions about vaccination policy in your facility, or questions about infection prevention and control in general, please get in touch with us. Bug Control have over twenty-five years of IPC experience in Australia and New Zealand that we would love to share with you.

Further reading