Parental Vaccine Hesitancy

A new study has found that one in five children in the United States have a parent who is vaccine hesitant. The study, “Parental Vaccine Hesitancy and Childhood Influenza Vaccination,” which will be published in the December 2020 issue of Pediatrics (published online Nov. 9), notes that there is  a lack of consensus on the definition of  vaccine hesitancy, but that it  can be defined as doubt or indecision regarding vaccinations. Vaccine hesitancy has contributed to large outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases in several countries, including the United States.

Six questions developed by the CDC were included in the 2018 and 2019 National Immunization Survey-Flu (NIS-Flu), a telephone survey of U.S. households with children ages 6 months to 17 years. In both seasons studied, children of parents who reported that they were “hesitant about childhood shots” had 26 percentage points lower influenza vaccination coverage compared with children of parents not reporting hesitancy. Monitoring such hesitancy could help immunization programs as they develop and target methods to increase vaccine confidence and vaccination coverage, the authors conclude.

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics - The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.