Analysis of pilot data assessing vaccine hesitancy in an urban clinic setting
MetadataShow full item record
Widespread use of childhood vaccination has significantly reduced the burden of childhood disease, however a subset of parents are choosing to delay or refuse available vaccines. This study analyzed data collected from a large surveillance study to examine the parents’ attitudes about vaccines and the prevalence of vaccine hesitancy (vaccine delay and refusal) in an urban clinic population. The parents of 961 children attending the Boston Medical Center Pediatrics department participated in the study. Parental responses to four vaccine questions were used to assess vaccine attitudes. Log-Binomial Regression models were used to evaluate the relationship between comorbidity status and birth order with vaccine delay or refusal. In this study population, parents reported generally positive attitudes toward vaccination. The majority (87%) believed that vaccines were necessary to protect their child. Approximately 16% of parents reported that had delayed or refused a vaccine and 24% of parents indicated that they did not believe or were unsure if other parents vaccinating their children. When asked the reason for their choice, parents who only delayed frequently cited logistic concerns like a missed appointment, whereas parents who refused more often cited personal beliefs, such as concerns that their child could become ill from vaccination. Finally, parents of children with a comorbidity were more likely to refuse a vaccine than parents of children without comorbidity (Adjusted RR=1.8, 95% CI: 1.1, 2.9). While parents were generally positive toward vaccines, for the small portion of parents refusing vaccines, further work could help to better explain their motivations.