Only 40% of Bulgarians Consider Vaccines as Safe
Public distrust of vaccines means that the world is taking a step backwards in the fight against lethal but preventable diseases, said experts quoted by the BBC and the Bulgarian National Radio.
The largest global survey of attitudes to immunisation indicates that confidence in the vaccines is low in some regions.
The Wellcome Trust analysis includes the responses of over 140,000 people in over 140 countries.
Its results for Bulgaria show that only 40% of respondents consider vaccines as safe. 15% are on the contrary opinion and 35% consider them neither safe nor dangerous. 10% of the people haven't formed their opinion yet.
57% of Bulgarian respondents agree with the opinion that vaccines are effective; 7% are against. 71% believe vaccines are important for children, and 7% do not. In Bulgaria, 96% of respondents said their children are vaccinated.
Overall, Bulgaria's confidence in vaccines is lower than the average for Eastern Europe.
The World Health Organization lists vaccine hesitancy as one of the top 10 threats to global health.
On a global scale, 7% disagree with the opinion that vaccines are safe and 5% don’t think they are effective.
In Northern America, and Southern and Northern Europe, just over 70% of people agreed that vaccines were safe.
The figure was as low as 59% in Western Europe, and 50% in Eastern Europe.
Most people in lower-income areas agreed vaccines were safe. The highest number was in South Asia, where 95% of people agreed, followed by Eastern Africa, where the figure was 92%.
In Ukraine, which reported the highest number of measles cases in Europe last year (53,218 in total) - only 50% of people agreed vaccines were effective. This figure was 46% in Belarus, 49% in Moldova, and 62% in Russia.
There is overwhelming scientific evidence that vaccination is the best defence against deadly and debilitating infections, such as measles.
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