Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Prev Med. 2000 Nov;31(5):522-8.

Exposure to immunization media messages among African American parents.

Author information

  • 1California Department of Health Services, Immunization Branch, Berkeley, California 94707, USA.



African Americans have low immunization rates, yet little is known about their immunization knowledge, attitudes, and practices or about the effect of outreach to this audience. In Spring 1997, the California Department of Health Services (CDHS) launched a statewide culturally sensitive and ethnically specific media campaign directed toward African Americans. This campaign was preceded by a major Los Angeles County Department of Health Services media campaign.


The objectives of this study were to (a) estimate exposure to immunization media messages among African Americans; (b) determine sources of immunization information; and (c) assess various immunization attitudes and beliefs in order to refine future outreach efforts.


Following the CDHS media campaign, a random digit dial survey was conducted with 801 African American families with children under age 10. The sample was drawn from the four California regions with the highest African American birth rates. It included all zip codes in these regions with greater than 150 African American births per year. Lower bound response rates ranged from 62.5 to 76.1%. Higher income and education levels were overrepresented. Results were weighted to adjust for this.


Over 88% remembered seeing or hearing some form of immunization information. Exposure to television ads was reported by 63% followed by billboards (51%) and radio (42%). Sixty-two percent thought mild disease was possible after shots; 27% feared HIV from needles and 19% thought pain was a barrier. Respondents who cited money as a barrier (26%) were less likely to believe that shots were available for free (P = 0.02).


Media advertising is an effective tool for reaching African Americans. Addressing specific concerns (e.g., clarification of the circumstances and likelihood of getting a mild case of the disease following an immunization, availability of free shots, and risk of HIV) may contribute to increased immunization rates for this population.

Copyright 2000 American Health Foundation and Academic Press.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk