Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy in Europe (VAX-TRUST) research project scrutinizes vaccine hesitancy as a broad societal phenomenon with the primary aim to provide tools and support for healthcare professionals in encountering vaccine hesitant individuals. The project is carried out in Finland, Belgium, Poland, the Czech Republic, Italy, Portugal, and the UK.

Ever since vaccines have been developed, individuals have questioned the value and importance of vaccines for their health and expressed distrust towards proponents of vaccines. These individuals doubt the benefits of vaccines, raise concerns about their safety and efficacy and question the need for them. Vaccine hesitancy is a most burning issue for healthcare professionals who meet more and more challenges in building trust relationships with their patients. Healthcare professionals need abilities to encounter vaccine hesitant individuals so that these individuals can make their decisions about health. Professionals need to be prepared to answer questions and concerns related to vaccines.

The aim of Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy in Europe is to help healthcare professionals to prepare for meeting with vaccine hesitant individuals. In this project, we will:

1) equip healthcare professionals with tailored up-to-date knowledge on vaccine hesitancy in their specific local region and nation in international perspective; this knowledge will be obtained through (a) critical review of previous research on vaccine hesitancy, (b) a quantitative study using existing Eurobarometer 91.2 data (n=27,524 in 28 countries), (c) a quantitative and qualitative media analysis during 2019-2021 and (d) qualitative observations and interviews with healthcare professionals and parents at local healthcare centres in specific Target Regions;

2) give healthcare professionals tools, support and peer support to deal with vaccine hesitancy, taking into account that some professionals may themselves be vaccine hesitant. This will involve specific interventions tailored to healthcare professionals in the Target Regions. These interventions will be evaluated for usability and transferability;

3) distribute the intervention tools to future healthcare professionals, medical and nursing students, in order to strengthen their knowledge about vaccine hesitancy and facilitate support to meet with vaccine hesitancy in their future career;

4) identify and communicate recommendations to Target Regions, the seven countries and European area based on the project activities.

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