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World Health Organisation on vaccination

Vaccination hesitancy threatens to reverse progress

The WHO reports that vaccination hesitancy - the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines - threatens to reverse progress made in tackling vaccine-preventable diseases.  Vaccination is one of the most cost-effective ways of avoiding disease - it currently prevents 2-3 million deaths a year, and a further 1.5million could be avoided if global coverage of vaccinations is improved.

The reasons why people choose not to vaccinate are complex - a vaccines advisory group to WHO identified complacency, inconvenience in accessing vaccines, and lack of confidence are key reasons underlying hesitancy.

In 2019, WHO will ramp up work to eliminate cervical cancer worldwide by increasing coverage of the HPV vaccine.

Vaccine hesitancy one of the 10 issues that will demand attention from WHO and health partners in 2019. This could have relevance to the HPV vaccine and oropharyngeal cancers.

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