The PolicyLab and the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia recently released an Evidence to Action brief titled “Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy to Protect Children and Communities Against Preventable Diseases.” The brief included a review of vaccine hesitancy, identification of three areas of concern, and a series of recommendations to address the concerns.

The areas of concern include:

  • Diminished prioritization — delayed immunizations resulting from lack of experience with diseases being prevented and convenience factors and barriers related to access or philosophical beliefs or concerns.
  • Lack of confidence in vaccine safety and efficacy — resistance to immunizations based on misinformation that is perpetrated in the media and online. Difficulty reversing misconceptions also contributes to this area of concern.
  • Inadequate state policies — nonmedical exemptions and pockets of noncompliance lead to regions or areas of increased susceptibility and decreased herd immunity.

Recommendations focused on three areas of action related to healthcare provider recommendations, vaccine mandates and education.

Strategies related to providers focused on strengthening of vaccine recommendations, including:

  • Increased emphasis on training about vaccine safety, efficacy and communication at all career levels
  •  Having obstetricians counsel expectant moms about the importance of following the recommended immunization schedule
  • Decreased use and acceptance of requests for alternate vaccination schedules by providers
  • Requirements for use of immunization information systems (IIS)
  • Improved reimbursement for providers of vaccination services

Vaccine mandates should be strengthened and enforced by:

  • Eliminating nonmedical exemptions for both public and private schools
  • Increasing rigor of the exemption process
  • Establishing fees for nonmedical vaccine exemptions to cover costs to society

Suggested actions related to education and awareness included:

  • Implementation of public awareness campaigns
  • Use of health insurance incentives based on vaccination status
  • Promotion of school-based health clinics as vaccination providers
  • Increased opportunities for pharmacists to vaccinate patients of all ages

Watch a webinar discussing the brief featuring Dr. Kristen Feemster, senior author of the brief and Director of Research for the Vaccine Education Center, and Dr. Paul Offit, Director of the Vaccine Education Center.

View or download the complete brief or read the supporting blog post. A social media toolkit is also available.

Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Vaccine Education Center staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy.

You should not consider the information in this site to be specific, professional medical advice for your personal health or for your family's personal health. You should not use it to replace any relationship with a physician or other qualified healthcare professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about vaccinations, medications and other treatments, you should always consult your physician or, in serious cases, seek immediate assistance from emergency personnel.