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Vaccination uptake: access is still biggest barrier, experts warn

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: (Published 17 September 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l5576
  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

Lack of access is still the main factor hindering vaccine coverage and must not be overlooked in the fight to increase uptake. This was the message delivered at the first ever global vaccine summit, co-hosted by the European Commission and World Health Organization.

Speaking at the conference in Brussels on 12 September, WHO’s director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that although there was a “serious problem of misinformation” and increasing vaccine hesitancy, especially in rich countries, access to vaccines remained the world’s “main problem.”

“Even in Europe children are dying from measles,” said Tedros in his speech calling for action. “This is a wake-up call. We were fighting it [measles], it was declining, but now it’s coming back and it could be with a vengeance.”

How much is access an issue in the UK?

In England in 2017-18 coverage of nine of the 12 routine childhood vaccinations, as measured at ages 12 months, 24 months, or five years, fell from the previous year.1 In 2018 the number of confirmed cases …

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