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Vaccine. 2018 Nov 19;36(48):7300-7305. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2018.10.042. Epub 2018 Oct 16.

Do parents prefer inactivated or live attenuated influenza vaccine for their children?

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, United States. Electronic address:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, United States; Leidos Inc., Atlanta, GA, United States.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, United States; Berry Technology Solutions, Inc., Atlanta, GA, United States.



To determine the proportion of children whose parents prefer them to receive live, attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) or inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV), examine reasons for preferences, and determine what percentage of vaccinated children receive other than the preferred type of vaccine and why.


Parental-reported data for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 influenza seasons from the National Immunization Survey-Flu (NIS-Flu), a random-digit-dialed, dual frame (landline and cellular telephone) survey of households with children, were analyzed. We calculated the proportions of vaccinated children aged 2-17 years whose parents preferred LAIV, IIV, or had no preference, and the proportions that were vaccinated with other than the preferred type of vaccine.


For the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons, 55.2% and 53.7%, respectively, of vaccinated children had parents who reported no preference for either IIV or LAIV. The percentage who preferred LAIV was 22.7% and 21.7%, and IIV was 22.1% and 24.7%. The most common reason given by parents for preferring LAIV was the child's fear of needles (70.9%) and for preferring IIV was belief that the shot is more effective (29.0%). Approximately one-third of vaccinated children whose parents preferred LAIV received IIV only.


The main finding of this study was that most parents do not have a vaccine type preference for their children. The lack of overwhelming preference is advantageous for the maintenance of vaccination coverage levels during times when one vaccine type is not available or not recommended such as in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons when there was a temporary recommendation not to administer LAIV.


Child; Human; Immunization; Influenza; Surveys and questionnaires; Vaccination

[Available on 2019-11-19]

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