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Vaccine hesitancy would harm pandemic flu response

Source(s):  Telegraph Media Group Limited

By Anne Gulland

The rise of fake news and “vaccine fatigue” could seriously harm the response to a global flu pandemic on the scale of the 2009 swine flu outbreak, experts have warned.


Last week the World Health Organization identified “vaccine hesitancy” as one of its priorities for the year ahead, alongside tackling obesity and air pollution.  Reluctance or refusal to vaccinate is seen as one of the reasons for a 30 per cent increase in the number of cases of measles globally. "Anti vaxx" attitudes and social media bots spreading misinformation have encouraged vaccine scepticism, WHO warns.

Gulsah Gabriel, a virologist at Leibniz University in Germany, told [a conference on pandemic preparedness at Chatham House in London]: “We are in the middle of an epidemic of vaccine fatigue. No one cares about influenza any more. People think it’s not dangerous.”


[Susanne Herold, professor of pulmonary infections at Giessen University] warned that European countries would find it harder to fight an outbreak of pandemic flu because there were more people at a high risk of developing complications from flu.


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  • Publication date 23 Jan 2019

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