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Vaccine hesitancy (VH) is prominent in France. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence and socio-demographic correlates of VH in sub-groups of the French population and to investigate the association of VH with both vaccine uptake and perceived risk–benefit balance (RBB) for four vaccines. : During the 2016 Health Barometer – a national cross-sectional telephone survey in a representative sample of the French population – parents of 1–15 year-old children, parents of 11–15 year-old girls and elderly people aged 65–75 years were asked about VH (using three questions adapted from the World Health Organization definition), vaccine uptake and perceived RBB for measles and hepatitis B (children’s parents), human papillomavirus (girls’ parents) and seasonal influenza (elderly people) vaccines. : A total of 3,938 parents including 959 girls' parents – and 2,418 elderly people were interviewed. VH prevalence estimates were 46% (95% confidence interval (CI): 44–48) among parents, 48% (95%CI: 45–51) among girls’ parents and 35% (95% CI: 33–36) among elderly people, with higher estimates associated with high education level, children’s age (10–15 years), and, for the elderly, poor perception of health status. VH was associated with uncertainty about and/or an unfavourable perception of vaccines’ RBB for the four vaccines and with lower self-reported vaccine uptake, except for human papillomavirus vaccine in girls. Results were confirmed by multivariable analysis. : Further research is needed to study the association between VH and vaccine uptake for other vaccines, and to design and validate measurement tools to monitor VH over time.


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