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J Paediatr Child Health. 2011 Jul;47(7):419-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.2010.01993.x. Epub 2011 Feb 18.

Parents' attitudes towards the influenza vaccine and influencing factors.

Author information

1
National Centre for Immunisation Research, The Children's Hospital at Westmead, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. springc@chw.edu.au

Abstract

AIM:

To determine what factors are associated with parents' attitudes towards accepting the influenza vaccine for their child.

METHODS:

Parents' attitudes were measured as part of a pilot randomised controlled trial of influenza vaccination in children attending day care in 2007. Parents and their children were recruited to the study upon a doctor's visit to the day care. A questionnaire elicited beliefs and attitudes towards influenza and vaccination. Descriptive analyses and χ(2) were calculated to determine factors associated with parental attitudes towards the influenza vaccine and with vaccination status.

RESULTS:

One hundred sixty-nine care givers were interviewed. The following factors were identified as preventive by parents: washing hands (81%); eating a healthy diet (75%); immunisation (74%); keeping their child out of child care when flu is around (54%); disinfecting household surfaces (53%); and breastfeeding for 6 months (48%). Only 5.9% of parents generally or strongly opposed influenza vaccination for their children, and only 1.8% thought that there was a high risk associated with their child having the vaccination. Parents with stronger support for the vaccine tended to view it as safer than other parents and also tended to know more about preventing influenza than other parents. Level of support for the vaccine and perceived safety of the vaccine were both significantly correlated with parents' acceptance of the offer for child influenza vaccination.

CONCLUSIONS:

There were small numbers of our sample that did not support influenza vaccination; thought that it was unsafe; and/or had low levels of knowledge about prevention of influenza but still vaccinated their child against influenza. There is a need for strong and well-justified recommendations for parents to accept seasonal influenza vaccination for their children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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