The grant will support the institute's Vaccine Acceptance and Demand initiative, an effort to address vaccine hesitancy — the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines — which the World Health Organization has identified as one of the top ten threats to global public health. To that end, the initiative will support efforts to expand Sabin's existing Immunization Advocates program, which works to provide timely immunization information to media and healthcare professionals, raise awareness of the value of vaccines, and dispel misinformation; scale a successful pilot program that funds research and capacity building for community-level vaccination-acceptance interventions in low- and middle-income countries; and study how social media influences decisions around vaccination acceptance.
"Our ultimate goal is to build trust in vaccines so that patients are likely to accept vaccines and protect their health, as well as the health of their families and communities," said Sabin Vaccine Institute CEO Amy Finan.
"Vaccine hesitancy is creating a global health risk that must be addressed," said Bruce Gellin, the institute's president for global immunization. "Misinformation and disinformation about vaccines cost lives daily in communities around the world, as witnessed during the ongoing global measles resurgence. Through Sabin's role at the intersection of immunization programs, policy, and research, we will partner with local researchers, national immunization programs, and other global health organizations to build evidence and provide the resources, connections, and information stakeholders need to reverse this dangerous trend."
(Photo credit: Sabin Vaccine Institute)