Immunization has often been viewed as the leading light of public health intervention, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) notes that the two public health interventions that have had the greatest impact on the world’s child health are clean water and vaccines. If immunization is one of the leading stars of public health, then religion is the one of the frustrating complexities. However, the literature and evidence on religion and immunization is highly limited, with little coherence and major evidence gaps.

We report on a broad scoping review here which set out to map and understand the available literature on ‘religion and immunization’ – in search of relevant information on how immunization impacts with religion (or ‘faith’), religious institutions and communities. The basic intention is to make note of where evidence and information can be found, and what key areas for further research, engagement and partnership can be drawn from the existing literature.

This review forms part of the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities (JLI) which aims to develop and communicate robust, practical evidence on the under‐documented role of local faith communities (LFCs) for community systems strengthening. JLI brings together practitioners, academics, faith leaders, local community members and other stakeholders in a joint‐learning approach organized around ‘learning hubs’, each of which has a particular exploratory focus.

This review draws together diverse materials (after assessment for quality and relevance) – and has a particular focus on LMIC settings, although given the paucity of materials, and the way issues relating to immunization cross over migrant communities, this is not a clear division (that is, information from higher income settings is included where considered highly relevant).

See here for annotated bibliography

Resource preview