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In March 2019, the European Commission Directorate General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE) conducted a study on Europeans’ attitudes towards vaccination. The results of this Special Eurobarometer survey show that, overall, respondents have a quite positive opinion on vaccines.

Vaccination against seasonal respiratory virus is part of the recommended treatment for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients.

Vaccines considered as effective in preventing disease

Among the respondents, 85 % agree that vaccines might probably be effective in preventing diseases such as flu, measles or hepatitis. Only 3 % believe that vaccination has no effect at all. However, the results differ among countries. In Latvia for example, only 24% think that vaccines are definitely effective in preventing diseases, compared to 81 % in Denmark.

Individual vaccination rates depend on where you live

Nearly half (45%) of all of the respondents were saying that they had received a vaccine within the last five years. Deviations, however, are significant. While in Finland 72 % of the respondents stated that they had received vaccination within the last five years, it is only 17% in Romania.

Reasons for not getting vaccine are diverse

Most of the respondents get vaccination because of recommendation by their general practitioner or doctor. Reasons for not getting vaccine in the last five years, however, are more diverse. While 34 % do not see the need to get vaccination, 29 % think they are still covered by vaccines received earlier.

Unfortunately, 22 % of respondents say that they have not been offered a vaccination by their doctors. Furthermore, only half of respondents do have a vaccination card recording their details.

Respondents have positive attitudes towards vaccination

In all countries, a large majority agrees that it is important to have routine vaccination. Of all respondents 88 % think vaccines are important to protect not only oneself but also others. On the other hand, 81 % agree that not getting vaccinated can lead to serious health issues.

General practitioners and doctors remain by far the primary source of information

Among the respondents, 79 % stated that they would primarily consult general practitioners, a doctor or paediatrician about vaccination. Second ranked with 29 % are other health care workers, like nurses, followed by health authorities (25%).

Online-networks are surprisingly low ranked in information gathering. Only 5 % of respondents mention social networks as most relevant source of information. Further, only 1 % considers online networks as a trustworthy source of information on vaccines.

More information on the report and results can be found here.

Tags: Category: News
Country: EU
Disease area: Asthma,Allergy,Other diseases
Theme: Medicines