Vaccine Hesitancy, Acceptance, and Anti-Vaccination: Trends and Future Prospects for Public Health

Annu Rev Public Health. 2021 Apr 1:42:175-191. doi: 10.1146/annurev-publhealth-090419-102240.


An often-stated public health comment is that "vaccination is a victim of its own success." While the scientific and medical consensus on the benefits of vaccination is clear and unambiguous, an increasing number of people are perceiving vaccines as unsafe and unnecessary. The World Health Organization identified "the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite availability of vaccines" as one of the 10 threats to global health in 2019. The negative influence of anti-vaccination movements is often named as a cause of increasing vaccine resistance in the public. In this review, we give an overview of the current literature on the topic, beginning by agreeing on terminology and concepts before looking at potential causes, consequences, and impacts of resistance to vaccination.

Keywords: anti-vaccination; immunization; vaccine acceptance; vaccine hesitancy; vaccine refusal.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Public Health / trends*
  • Vaccination / psychology*
  • Vaccines / administration & dosage*


  • Vaccines