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Why doctors should convey the medical consensus on vaccine safety
  1. Sander van der Linden
  1. Department of Psychology, Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs, and Princeton Global Health Program, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA
  1. Correspondence to : Dr Sander van der Linden
    , Social and Environmental Decision-Making (SED) Lab, Department of Psychology, 421 Peretsman-Scully Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA; sander.vanderlinden{at}

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Public confidence in vaccination is crucial to the success of immunisation programmes worldwide. Yet, growing vaccine hesitancy and refusal poses serious risks to public health. For example, a recent study found that although outright refusal is still relatively uncommon, in a typical month, over 90% of surveyed US physicians receive requests to delay childhood vaccines.1

What is troubling is that most parental concerns about vaccine safety are based on influential misperceptions. Indeed, numerous studies have found that continued belief in the long discredited link between vaccines and autism significantly undermines public confidence in …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

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