Terrorist Attacks against Vaccinators: A Review

Gregory N. Jasani, Reem Alfalasi, Garrett A. Cavaliere, Benjamin J. Lawner, Stephen Y. Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Vaccinators fulfill an important role in a nation's public health by reducing the burden of disease on the population. Understanding patterns of attack employed against vaccinators is important to determine how to protect them. We conducted a search of the Global Terrorism Database for terrorist attacks against vaccinators that occurred between the years 1970 and 2018. Using the search terms "hospital,""healthcare,""clinic,""doctor,""nurses,""vaccinators,"and "vaccinations,"2,322 healthcare-related entries were identified. We then manually searched the dataset for incidents related to attacks on vaccinators, which resulted in the identification of 133 attacks against vaccinators. The majority (128 out of 133) of attacks occurred during or after 2010. Every attack except one has occurred in the Middle East, South Asia, or sub-Saharan Africa. Pakistan has seen the most attacks against vaccinators, with 112 incidents recorded. Vaccinators continue to be vulnerable to terrorist attacks. Protection of healthcare personnel during mass vaccination efforts is critical so that they can continue their lifesaving mission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-545
Number of pages5
JournalHealth security
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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