Anti-vaccination movement listed on World Health Organisation's top 10 health threats for 2019 1 month ago

Anti-vaccination movement listed on World Health Organisation's top 10 health threats for 2019

Vaccine hesitancy joins air pollution and climate change, HIV and Ebola on the new list.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has listed the anti-vaccination movement among the top health threats facing people across the globe in 2019.

Vaccine hesitancy or the delay in acceptance or outright refusal of vaccines in spite of their availability has been described by Newsweek as "a phenomenon that has taken hold in a number of countries around the world in recent times".

That same report highlights the United States of America as a notable hotbed of anti-vaccination sentiment, referring to a recent journal study which illustrates a significant rise in the trend since 2009 in 12 of the 18 states that currently allow the policy.

In Australia, around 40,000 children remain unvaccinated due to the concerns of their parents, while new rules introduced in Italy last year suspended mandatory vaccinations required for children admitted to school.

2019 sees the launch of the WHO's 13th General Programme, a five-year undertaking aiming to address the most damaging health issues that people currently face.

As noted, vaccine hesitancy is in the top 10, with air pollution and climate change, Ebola and HIV also listed.

The full breakdown, in no specific order of urgency, is as follows:

  • Vaccine hesitancy
  • Air pollution and climate change
  • Noncommunicable diseases
  • Global influenza pandemic
  • Fragile and vulnerable settings such as major crises and substandard services
  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Ebola and similar high-threat pathogens
  • Weak primary health care
  • Dengue fever
  • HIV