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BMC Public Health. 2009 May 27;9:154. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-9-154.

Parental knowledge of paediatric vaccination.

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  • 1CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública, Barcelona, Spain. eva.borras@gencat.cat



Although routine vaccination is a major tool in the primary prevention of some infectious diseases, there is some reluctance in a proportion of the population. Negative parental perceptions of vaccination are an important barrier to paediatric vaccination. The aim of this study was to investigate parental knowledge of paediatric vaccines and vaccination in Catalonia.


A retrospective, cross-sectional study was carried out in children aged < 3 years recruited by random sampling from municipal districts of all health regions of Catalonia. The total sample was 630 children. Parents completed a standard questionnaire for each child, which included vaccination coverage and knowledge about vaccination. The level of knowledge of vaccination was scored according to parental answers.


An association was observed between greater vaccination coverage of the 4:4:4:3:1 schedule (defined as: 4 DTPa/w doses, 4 Hib doses, 4 OPV doses, 3 MenC doses and 1 MMR dose) and maternal age >30 years (OR: 2.30; 95% CI: 1.20-4.43) and with a knowledge of vaccination score greater than the mean (OR: 0.45; 95% CI: 0.28-0.72). The score increased with maternal educational level and in parents of vaccinated children.A total of 20.47% of parents stated that vaccines could have undesirable consequences for their children. Of these, 23.26% had no specific information and 17.83% stated that vaccines can cause adverse reactions and the same percentage stated that vaccines cause allergies and asthma.


Higher vaccination coverage is associated with older maternal age and greater knowledge of vaccination.Vaccination coverage could be raised by improving information on vaccines and vaccination.

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