TerrorismTerrorist Attacks Against Vaccinators

Published 24 September 2021

Since 2010, Islamist terrorists have increased their attacks on vaccinators in the Middle East, south Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. Pakistan has seen the most attacks on vaccinators.

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.

Pandora Report notes that a new study has conducted a search of the Global Terrorism Database for terrorist attacks against vaccinators which occurred between 1970 and 2018. Using the search terms “hospital,” “healthcare,” “clinic,” “doctor,” “nurses,” “vaccinators,” and “vaccinations,” 2,322 healthcare-related entries were identified.

The researchers 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.

Pandora Reportsays that “vaccinators continue to be vulnerable to terrorist attacks. Protection of healthcare personnel during mass vaccination efforts is critical so that they can continue their life saving mission.”