Featured Priority: Vaccine Confidence

Vaccine confidence is critical to maintaining vaccination coverage rates and protecting the health of our communities. We work with partners to strengthen public trust in vaccines.

What is vaccine confidence?

Vaccine confidence is the trust that parents, patients, or providers have in:

  • recommended vaccines;
  • providers who administer vaccines; and
  • processes and policies that lead to vaccine development, licensure, manufacturing, and recommendations for use

Understanding Vaccine Confidence

Vaccines prevent disease, illness, and premature death — saving between 2 and 3 million lives each year.1 Despite their life-saving value, coverage in the United States remains low for several recommended vaccines. Evidence suggests that:

  • Nearly 12% of parents refuse at least 1 recommended childhood vaccine2
  • Over 30% of parents delay 1 or more recommended childhood vaccines3
  • More people are getting school immunization exemptions for personal reasons4
  • Less than 45% of adults get the recommended seasonal flu vaccine5

Understanding vaccine confidence is key to ensuring high vaccination rates and saving lives.

In 2015, The National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) released Assessing the State of Vaccine Confidence in the United States. This report identifies and describes:

  • Factors that may affect parental vaccine confidence
  • Ways to improve parental vaccine confidence
  • Ways to measure vaccine confidence to inform future interventions

The report includes recommendations to the Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH) on how improving vaccine confidence can help reach Healthy People 2020 immunization coverage targets.

Working to Increase Vaccine Confidence

As part of our efforts to fill gaps in the immunization system through coordination and collaboration, the Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy is leading the effort to understand and increase vaccine confidence across the life course. OIDP's vaccine confidence strategy focuses on:

Related Resources

Explore these additional resources related to vaccine confidence:


1 Bunker JP, Frazier HS, Mosteller F. Improving health: measuring effects of medical care. Milbank Q. 1994;72(2):225–258.
2 Freed GL, Clark SJ, Butchart AT, Singer DC, Davis MM. Parental vaccine safety concerns in 2009. Pediatrics.2010;125(4):654-9.
3 Smith PJ, Humiston SG, Marcuse EK, Zhao Z, Dorell CG, Howes C, Hibbs B. Parental Delay or Refusal of Vaccine Doses, childhood vaccination coverage at 24 months of age and the health belief model. Public Health Rep. 2011;126(Suppl 2):135–146.
4 Omer SB, Salmon DA, Orenstein WA, DeHart MP, Halsey N. Vaccine refusal, mandatory immunization, and the risks of vaccine-preventable diseases. N Engl J Med. 2009;360(19):542-50.
5 Williams WW, Lu P, O’Halloran A, Kim DA, Grohskopf LA, Pilishvili T, Skoff TH, Nelson NP, Harpaz R, Markowitz LE, Rodriguez-Lainz A, Fiebelkorn AP. Surveillance of vaccination coverage among adult populations — United States 2015. MMWR. 2017;66(11);1-28.

Content created by Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (OIDP)
Content last reviewed on August 6, 2019