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Vaccines: Vax populi

With a worrying rise in vaccine refusal in Europe, how can researchers help counter scepticism about safety?

Most Europeans would not think twice about vaccinating their children, believing that it is an important, safe and effective practice. But there has been an alarming increase in vaccine refusal in many countries across the continent.

“It’s a big problem, particularly in Europe,” says Heidi Larson. She is the director of the Vaccine Confidence Project, based at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the UK, which aims to monitor public confidence in vaccination programmes to help guide their implementation. Vaccinations provide immunity to a particular disease, typically by giving people a weak form of it that they should easily fight off.

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