This article presents the findings of a review of the literature on public resistance to vaccines and the main factors that have influenced their decisions about immunoprevention, with a focus on the COVID-19 pandemic.
We searched the literature using the terms DeCs/MeSH, anti-vaccination movement, vaccination refusal, epidemics, COVID-19, and impacts on health, using the Boolean operators OR and AND in Google Scholar, Medline, Lilacs, and Ibecs. Documents from official sources were also considered.
Throughout history, since vaccination began, people have had controversial perceptions of the procedure: some accept what the health authorities recommend, and others allege hidden intentions behind immunization. The COVID-19 vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 has been no exception.
Vaccination has been one of the greatest scientific achievements in public health. However, despite its benefits, it has raised fear, uncertainty, and suspicion in the population. For this reason, it is important to increase health education actions in the population—with clear, concise, understandable information that is based on reliable and truthful sources—in order to reduce resistance to vaccination and address preventable diseases.