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Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy to Protect Children and Communities Against Preventable Diseases

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Despite availability and routine recommendation of these vaccines, approximately 42,000 adults and 300 children in the United States still die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases. While ongoing vaccination programs help to keep these diseases at bay, some vaccine-preventable diseases have been re-emerging. A rise in vaccine hesitancy—a behavior influenced by lack of trust in the medical community, concerns about vaccine safety, efficacy, necessity or convenience and other issues related to vaccination—has contributed to undervaccination through parental decisions to delay or refuse vaccines for their children.

This PolicyLab Evidence to Action brief summarizes research findings around the causes and effects of vaccine hesitancy, and proposes policy changes that could lead to increased vaccination rates and greater protection for the current and future health of our children.


Nabet B, Gable J, Eder J, Feemster K