Declaring Vaccine Hesitancy One of the Ten Biggest Health Threats in 2019 Is Unhelpful

September 20, 2019

(The Conversation) – The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently declared vaccine hesitancy one of the ten biggest threats to global health in 2019, along with air pollution and climate change. The declaration followed several measles outbreaks in Europe and the US, but most cases were in a country where the health system had broken down: Ukraine.  Nothing suggests that these outbreaks were caused by the few who declined a measles vaccine. A substantial proportion of cases occurred in people who had been vaccinated – so the outbreaks were mainly the result of broken healthcare systems and vaccine failure rather than vaccine hesitancy.