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Am J Prev Med. 2006 Jul;31(1):32-5. Epub 2006 Jun 6.

Parental concerns and medical-seeking behavior after immunization.

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  • 1Immunization Safety Office, Office of the Chief Science Officer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA.



To examine demographics and immunization attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors of parents who sought medical attention for a child due to an adverse event following immunization (AEFI).


A sample of households that participated in the National Immunization Survey was re-contacted during 2001. This analysis was conducted in 2004 and 2005.


Of 2286 respondents, 223 (6.9%, weighted) sought medical attention for a child due to an AEFI. Compared with parents reporting no adverse event, parents who sought medical attention were less likely to be African American (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]=0.34, 95% confidence interval [CI]=0.16-0.75) or Hispanic (AOR=0.16, 95% CI=0.07-0.39) versus white, aged 35 years or older versus 25 to 34 (AOR=0.35, 95% CI=0.17-0.72), more likely to believe that immunizations cause minor side effects (AOR=5.74, 95% CI=2.99-11.00), report unwanted yet required childhood immunizations (AOR=3.54, 95% CI=1.45-8.66), not want a new baby to be fully immunized (AOR=3.48, 95% CI=1.25-9.67), report concern about immunization safety (AOR=2.08, 95% CI=1.07-4.05), believe that immunizations are dangerous (AOR=3.56, 95% CI=1.14-11.13), and have a child missing two or more doses of three immunizations (measles-containing vaccine, DTaP/DTP, or hepatitis B) (AOR=2.30, 95% CI=1.17-4.55).


This study suggests that research is needed to determine whether negative parental attitudes associated with a child's AEFI might be lessened by improving vaccine safety communication between physician and parent.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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