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An alarming 24% Pakistanis say that vaccines are not compatible with their religious beliefs

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Islamabad, 21 November, 2019

According to a Gilani Research Foundation Survey carried out by Gallup & Gilani Pakistan, 24% Pakistanis say that vaccines are not compatible with their religious beliefs.

A nationally representative sample of men and women from across the four provinces was asked, “How strongly do you agree or disagree: ‘Vaccines are compatible with your religious beliefs’?” In response, 44% Pakistanis said that they strongly agree, 19% said they somewhat agree, 11% somewhat disagree and 13% strongly disagree. 13% claimed they do not know/do not wish to respond.

Commenting on this Bilal I Gilani – Executive Director of Gallup Pakistan adds: “Pakistan is one of the front-line states in the war against Polio and in the past one year the war seems to have been lost. Pakistan is now the only country where new polio cases have surfaced and as compared to 2018, 4 times more polio cases were reported in 2019. The findings emerging from Gallup Pakistan shed light on how the religious views against vaccinations in general could be one reason why vaccination compliance in Pakistan is a problem. Most surveys point out that close to 15-20% children in the age where regular vaccination is required have not completed their courses. It is striking how a quarter of adult Pakistanis find vaccines to be against their religious belief and an additional 13% are fence sitters. Both negative view holders and fence sitters are not only susceptible to not get their children vaccinated but are a possible cause of spiraling misinformation and motivation for other parents to discontinue vaccination. Global Fight against Polio can be won and lost in Pakistan if we have correct understanding of reasons such as the one highlighted by this Gallup poll.”

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