People in Europe have the lowest levels of trust in vaccines, according to a global survey of public attitudes toward health and science published on Wednesday.
The study found that people living in high-income countries have the lowest confidence in vaccines, a result that ties in to the rise of the anti-vaccination movement, in which people refuse to believe in the benefits of vaccinations or claim that the treatment is dangerous.
And France has the lowest levels of confidence, according to the survey devised by British medical charity Wellcome Trust and conducted by Gallup World Poll between April and December 2018.
A third (33%) of French people do not agree that immunisation is safe.
Globally, 79% of people agreed that vaccines are safe and 84% said they were effective.
Bangladesh and Rwanda had the highest levels of confidence in vaccines, with almost 100% in both countries agreeing they were safe, effective and important for children to have.
The lowest confidence levels in relation to vaccines were in Western Europe where more than a fifth (22%) of people disagree that vaccines are safe, and in Eastern Europe where 17% disagreed that vaccines are effective.
An estimated 169 million children missed out on the vital first dose of the measles vaccine between 2010 and 2017, according to a UN report issued in April.