Confidence in the safety of vaccines is as low as 19 per cent in some European countries, a study in the Lancet has concluded.
However, the report says there are signs that public trust in vaccine safety is increasing in many countries.
Across the EU, recent significant losses in confidence in vaccine safety were detected in Poland, from 64 per cent strongly agreeing vaccines are safe in Nov 2018 to 53 per cent by Dec 2019.
Confidence in vaccine safety increased in several countries, including Finland, France, Italy, Ireland, and the UK.
In France, where confidence in vaccines has been persistently low, there has been a marked rise in confidence. The proportion of French people strongly agreeing that vaccines are safe increased from 22 per cent in November 2018 to 30 per cent in December 2019. In the UK, confidence in vaccine safety rose from 47 per cent in May 2018 to 52 per cent in November 2019.
The analysis suggests that confidence in the importance of vaccines rather than in their safety or effectiveness is most strongly linked with vaccine uptake. By December 2019, the majority of European countries were displaying increased levels of confidence in the importance of vaccination than in their safety and effectiveness.