France has lowest levels of trust in vaccines globally: poll

  • Wednesday 19, June 2019 11:26 AM
  • France has lowest levels of trust in vaccines globally: poll
Sharjah24 – AFP: France has the lowest levels of trust in vaccines globally, according to the world's biggest survey on public attitudes toward health and science, which was published on Wednesday.
A third (33 percent) of French people do not agree that immunization is safe, and it is also the only country where a majority (55 percent) believe science and technology will reduce the total number of jobs available, according to the poll of more than 140,000 people across 144 countries.

The survey of people aged 15 and older was devised by Wellcome, a British medical charity, and conducted by Gallup World Poll between April and December 2018.

It found that people living in high-income countries have the lowest confidence in vaccines, a result that ties in to the rise of the anti-vaccination movement, in which people refuse to believe in the benefits of vaccinations or claim that the treatment is dangerous.

An estimated 169 million children missed out on the vital first dose of the measles vaccine between 2010 and 2017, according to a UN report issued in April.

In the US alone, the number of cases of the disease this year has exceeded a thousand, according to the latest official figures.

Globally, 79 percent of people agreed that vaccines are safe and 84 percent said they were effective.

On the other end of the spectrum from France, Bangladesh and Rwanda had the highest levels of confidence in vaccines, with almost 100 percent in both countries agreeing they were safe, effective and important for children to have.

The lowest confidence levels in relation to vaccines were in Western Europe where more than a fifth (22 percent) of people disagree that vaccines are safe, and in Eastern Europe where 17 percent disagreed that vaccines are effective.

France was also the only country in the survey where most people believed science and technology would reduce jobs.

"Although much more research is needed to understand why this might be the case, the sluggish performance of the French economy over the last few years may be one factor that contributes to this sentiment," the report said.