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Wikipedia:Vaccine safety

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Welcome to the vaccine safety project on Wikipedia, aiming to document existing knowledge, find knowledge gaps related to vaccine safety on English Wikipedia, and identify reliable sources about vaccines.



In 2019, the World Health Organization named vaccine hesitancy, including lack of confidence and convenience in vaccination, as one of the top ten threats to global health.[1] A 2018 report from the European Commission shows that vaccine refusal has been increasing in many EU member states.[2] Only 79% of people around the world agree that vaccines are safe, and only 84% agree that they are effective[3]. This lack of confidence in vaccines contribute to lower vaccination coverage and results in disease outbreaks in many countries[1]. Disease outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles are still widespread in many parts of the world: During 2019, there were more measles cases reported worldwide than any year since 2006.[4]

Myths and misinformation surrounding vaccine safety


Although reasons for vaccine hesitancy vary, a common reasons is a concern about vaccine safety[5]. This concern is magnified by anti-vaxxer groups, celebrity endorsements, and misinformation circulated through media.[6]

No matter how great your idea, how exciting your new treatment, or how robust your science, it must be accepted by the people who stand to benefit from it. Vaccines, for example, are one of our most powerful public health tools, and we need people to have confidence in them if they are to be most effective.

— Wellcome Global Monitor (2018)[3]

Keeping articles current


Worldwide, Wikipedia's health content is one of the most frequently visited resource for healthcare on the internet.[7] It is important that reliable and updated vaccine safety information is available on Wikipedia. Free access to trusted, updated, accurate information on vaccine safety in local languages helps limit the impact of misinformation.

Vaccine Safety Edit-a-thons


A series of multilingual edit-a-thons on vaccine safety took place in 2021:

For details, check out the Vaccine Safety Edit-a-thon dashboard: https://outreachdashboard.wmflabs.org/campaigns/vaccine_safety_initiative_fy21/programs


  1. ^ a b "Vaccination: European Commission and World Health Organization join forces to promote the benefits of vaccines". www.who.int. World Health Organization. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  2. ^ "State of Vaccine Confidence in the EU" (PDF). European Commission. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Wellcome Global Monitor 2018 | Reports | Wellcome". wellcome.ac.uk. 18 June 2019. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  4. ^ "Global Measles Outbreaks". www.cdc.gov. 23 April 2020. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  5. ^ Larson, Heidi J.; Jarrett, Caitlin; Eckersberger, Elisabeth; Smith, David M. D.; Paterson, Pauline (17 April 2014). "Understanding vaccine hesitancy around vaccines and vaccination from a global perspective: A systematic review of published literature, 2007–2012". Vaccine. 32 (19): 2150–2159. doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.01.081. ISSN 0264-410X. PMID 24598724. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  6. ^ Geoghegan, Sarah; O’Callaghan, Kevin P.; Offit, Paul A. (17 March 2020). "Vaccine Safety: Myths and Misinformation". Frontiers in Microbiology. 11: 372. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2020.00372. PMC 7090020. PMID 32256465.
  7. ^ Smith, Denise A. (18 February 2020). "Situating Wikipedia as a health information resource in various contexts: A scoping review". PLOS ONE. 15 (2): e0228786. Bibcode:2020PLoSO..1528786S. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0228786. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 7028268. PMID 32069322.