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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005 Feb;159(2):108-12.

Parent opinions about universal influenza vaccination for infants and toddlers.

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Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.



Parent and caregiver opinions on the feasibility of routine influenza vaccinations for infants and toddlers are unknown.


To assess among English-speaking caregivers of children aged 6 to 23 months opinions about childhood influenza vaccination and potential knowledge, attitudinal, and demographic factors that might influence such opinions.


A structured, interviewer-administered survey of knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about the influenza vaccine among parents and caregivers of children at the ambulatory pediatric clinic or the pediatric emergency department of a large tertiary care teaching hospital. The dependent measure was respondents' expressed intentions to have their eligible children immunized against influenza in the upcoming season.


We interviewed 153 caregivers. One hundred nineteen (78%) expressed intent to immunize. Safety was reported by 70 respondents (46%) as their most important concern, followed by the belief that the influenza vaccine could itself cause influenza (31 respondents, 20%). Respondents who believed that influenza was serious, that the influenza vaccine does not cause disease, or that all babies should be immunized had greater intent to immunize than those who did not (85%, 87%, and 96% vs 66%, 66%, and 49%, respectively). Those who believed that vomiting was a symptom of influenza, who did not name any vaccine adverse effect, or who had high school or lower educational levels also had greater intent to immunize (87%, 89%, and 83% vs 66%, 69%, and 69%, respectively).


Knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and educational levels each had an independent influence on parents' intentions to vaccinate the child, whereas demographic factors other than education did not.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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