So says the World Health Organisation (WHO), which released a list of what it thought would be this year’s biggest health concerns.
The list included HIV, weak primary health care, Ebola and other high-threat pathogens, as well as vaccine hesitancy.
The organisation defined vaccine hesitancy as the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate, despite the availability of vaccines. It added that it threatened to reverse progress made in tackling preventable diseases.
The WHO said: “Vaccination is one of the most cost-effective ways of avoiding disease - it prevents 2 to 3million deaths a year and a further 1.5million could be avoided if global coverage of vaccinations improved. Measles, for example, has seen a 30% increase in cases globally. The reasons for this increase are complex and not all these cases are due to vaccine hesitancy. However, some countries that were close to eliminating the disease have seen a resurgence.”