Why do we not want to recommend influenza vaccination to young children? A qualitative study of Australian parents and primary care providers

Biezen, R, Grando, D, Mazza, D and Brijnath, B 2018, 'Why do we not want to recommend influenza vaccination to young children? A qualitative study of Australian parents and primary care providers', Vaccine, vol. 36, no. 6, pp. 859-865.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Why do we not want to recommend influenza vaccination to young children? A qualitative study of Australian parents and primary care providers
Author(s) Biezen, R
Grando, D
Mazza, D
Brijnath, B
Year 2018
Journal name Vaccine
Volume number 36
Issue number 6
Start page 859
End page 865
Total pages 7
Publisher Elsevier Ltd
Abstract INTRODUCTION: Influenza vaccination has been shown to be safe and effective against influenza and in the prevention of complicating secondary respiratory illnesses. However, its uptake in young children remains low. This study explored the views, attitudes and practices of parents and primary care providers (PCPs) on their knowledge and acceptance of influenza vaccination in children under 5.METHODS: Using a cross-sectional qualitative research design, we conducted 30 in-depth interviews with PCPs (i.e., general practitioners, practice nurses, maternal and child health nurses, and pharmacists) and five focus groups with parents (n = 50) between June 2014 and July 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. Data were thematically analysed.RESULTS: Parents thought the vaccine could cause influenza, and influenza vaccination was not necessary for their children as they needed to build their own 'immunity'. Parents said that they would consider vaccinating their children if recommended by their GP and if the influenza vaccine was part of the immunisation schedule. PCPs also expressed concerns regarding the efficacy of the vaccine as well as out-of-pocket costs incurred by families, and uncertainty regarding the mortality and morbidity of influenza in otherwise healthy children. However, they said they would recommend the vaccine to high-risk groups (e.g. children with chronic disease(s), and asthma).CONCLUSION: Despite the established safety of influenza vaccines, barriers to uptake include concerns regarding the iatrogenic effects of vaccination, its administration schedule, and knowledge of influenza severity. Updated information on influenza and the efficacy of the vaccine, and incorporating influenza vaccination into the immunisation schedule may overcome some of these barriers to increase influenza vaccination in this vulnerable cohort.
Subject Microbiology not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) Influenza
Influenza vaccine
Children
Primary care providers
Primary care
DOI - identifier 10.1016/j.vaccine.2017.12.066
Copyright notice © 2018 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN 1873-2518
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