Nine in 10 people believe vaccines are effective, according to Ipsos survey for IPHA

  • 91% trust doctors and nurses for accurate information about vaccines
  • Number of ‘vaccine believers’ up 11 points since before the pandemic
  • Almost three in five adults are vaccinated for diseases other than Covid-19

Over nine in 10 people believe vaccines are effective – an increase of 12 points since shortly before the pandemic, according to new research carried out by Ipsos for the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA).

The research shows that 91% of people believe vaccines, in general, are effective.

When the same question was asked in late 2019, 79% of people said they believed vaccines were effective.

Doctors and nurses, with 91%, are trusted for accurate information about vaccines. They are followed by scientists and vaccine specialists with 85%, pharmacists with 81% and official health websites with 77%. One-third of people, or 33%, trust traditional media sources for accurate information about vaccines. Politicians were trusted by 13% of people. The least trusted information source, with 9%, was user-generated online content.

Over four in five people, or 84%, trust the medical evidence on vaccines. ‘Vaccine believers’ – people who think vaccines are effective and trust the medical evidence – have increased by 11 points since a similar poll was taken in late 2019.

Four in five people, or 80%, believe there is misinformation about vaccines – up 15 points since shortly before the pandemic. Almost one-third of people, or 31%, believe there isn’t enough information available about vaccines. Women and younger people are more likely than men and older age cohorts to seek information about vaccines, according to the survey.

The survey finds that 57% have received adult vaccination for diseases other than Covid-19.

These diseases could include flu, mumps, rubella, Hepatitis B, whooping cough and pneumococcal disease.

Bernard Mallee, Director Communications and Advocacy at IPHA, said: “There is clear public confidence in vaccines to stop diseases and people trust experts with the facts about vaccines. It is probable that Covid-19 has heightened public awareness of the role of vaccines in improving health. Even though we have a world-class vaccination rate for Covid-19, a significant number of adults remain unvaccinated for other vaccine-preventable diseases. We hope that can change.

Before the introduction of vaccines for smallpox, rubella, measles, pneumonia, tuberculosis and polio, outbreaks of these diseases caused serious harm to communities in Ireland. Covid-19 is the latest chapter in a story of breakthrough science for better public health. It is encouraging that public trust in science is strong. It means more of us can stay safe throughout life.”

With the exception of clean, safe drinking water, vaccination is among the most successful and cost-effective public health interventions ever. The World Health Organisation estimates that vaccines save up to three million lives every year. IPHA’s life-course immunisation campaign, ‘Progress. Developed by Vaccines’, is live on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and on ipha.ie.

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