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Randomised controlled trial
Pro-vaccine messages may be counterproductive among vaccine-hesitant parents
  1. Helen Bedford
  1. Institute of Child Health, University College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Helen Bedford, University College London—Institute of Child Health, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH, UK; h.bedford{at}

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Although childhood vaccine uptake is generally high in industrialised countries such as the UK, pockets of lower uptake still allow disease outbreaks. Much under -immunisation is due to difficulties with accessing services, while a small proportion of parents reject immunisation. Although definitions vary, ‘vaccine hesitancy’ is the neologism applicable to the attitude of those parents neither readily accepting nor totally refusing vaccines. Despite a lack of measurement over time, it has been suggested that vaccine hesitancy is increasing. This is a cause for concern, since vaccine-hesitant parents may delay protecting children or even reject specific vaccines. This group may also be more likely to reject vaccines if there is a ‘scare’.

Importantly, by not totally …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.