Within many countries the COVID—19 pandemic is entering a 3rd wave and vaccine confidence is a live issue. According to an August 2018 edition of the Economist, “Italy, France and Serbia … have lower child-vaccinations rates than Burundi, Rwanda and Senegal.” On a background of differences in regulatory approaches to COVID-19 vaccine approvals and statements critical of COVID-19 vaccine efficacy by national leaders, Belgium at one point in 2021 had received 200,000 units but had only been able to distribute 4% of their quantity due to a lack of acceptance in the general public. In contrast, the WHO notes preparedness to accept a COVID-19 vaccine of 65% in recent surveys in Less Developed Countries.
How do we ensure that valid information regarding vaccines is circulated and accepted at all levels of society both in developed and in less developed countries? How do we disentangle outright vaccine refusal from vaccine hesitancy?