The Vaccine Confidence Project

The Vaccine Confidence Project: monitoring public confidence in immunisation programmes

Despite the historic success of immunisation in reducing the burden of childhood illness and death, episodes of public concerns and rumors around vaccines have occurred globally, spreading quickly and sometimes eroding public confidence in immunisation and leading to vaccine refusals and disease outbreaks. Although reports of public concerns and questions around the safety and relevance of vaccines have been on the increase, aside from monitoring of adverse events following immunisation (AEFI), there is neither a systematic monitoring of broader public vaccine concerns nor a tool to assess risk levels of concerns to potential programme disruptions, and potential disease outbreaks.

This project seeks to address these unmet needs and monitor public confidence in immunisation programs by listening for early signals of public distrust and questioning and providing risk analysis and guidance to engage the public early and pre-empting potential program disruptions.

This initiative is also defining a Vaccine Confidence Index (VCI) as a tool for countries. The VCI is a measure, based on a select number of factors identified from analysis of areas of both low and high vaccine coverage. This index is useful for informing the design of immunisation programmes and strategies and understanding more explicitly where to target both human and financial resources, which will allow for more efficiency.

Dr. Heidi Larson leads the team. Partners include Public Health England, HealthMap, ProMED, Imperial College London, Brighton collaboration, Chatham House, The Inclen Trust, and International Vaccine Institute.

Funders include Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), National Institute for Health Research, the World Health Organization, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Novartis, Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).

More details about this research can be found on the project website and here.