WHO identifies vaccine hesitancy (VH) as one of the ten threats to global health. The authors bring to the international scientific community an Italian episode that offers the opportunity to renew the discussion on the extent of the VH matter. The purpose of this systematic review is to analyze the factors determining vaccine hesitancy in the Italian population, to understand its roots, and suggest potential strategies to mitigate it. A systematic review of the literature according to the PRISMA guidelines was carried out using the SCOPUS and Medline (via PubMed) databases, using the following strategy: (COVID-19 vaccines) AND (vaccination hesitancy) AND (Italy). After the selection process, 36 articles were included in this systematic review. The most frequently detected factors associated with VH in the Italian population can be grouped as vaccine-related factors, socio-cultural factors, and demographic factors. Currently, we are facing a gap between the population and science, governments, and institutions. To heal this breach, it is necessary to strengthen the trust of the population through the implementation of health communication and public education strategies, while scientific literacy must continue to support families and individuals in discerning evidence from opinions to recognize the real risks and balance them with the benefits.

  • Europe
  • Italy
  • All age groups
  • Healthcare workers
  • Pregnant women
  • Parents/caregivers
  • Vaccine/vaccination
  • Acceptance
  • COVID-19