Rich Nations Can Learn From Poorer Nations To Improve Vaccination Coverage
The Hill: Want to prevent vaccine deaths? Show people the consequences of unvaccinated nations
Ifeanyi M. Nsofor, CEO of EpiAFRIC, director of policy and advocacy at Nigeria Health Watch, 2019 Atlantic fellow for health equity at George Washington University, and 2018 New Voices fellow at the Aspen Institute
“People’s confidence in the safety and efficacy of vaccines is greater in poor than rich countries, according to Wellcome’s recently published Global Monitor … As a direct result of people’s beliefs about vaccines in places like the U.S. and Europe, measles cases are spreading. … There are important lessons that governments in rich nations can learn from poorer ones to improve vaccination coverage. Indeed, wealthy nations can stem the spread of preventable diseases by looking to the African continent where vaccine-preventable diseases like polio have almost been eradicated. First, governments need to convince all parents to vaccinate their children. … Second, achieving universal health coverage improves access to health care, including immunization. … Third, costs must be altered. … To eradicate measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases, countries who have outbreaks must learn from those that do not. Communities should be constantly educated on vaccine safety to improve confidence. Then parents and caregivers can allow their children to be vaccinated” (6/29).