Most Parents Consider Children's Vaccines Important

Children's doctors are main but not sole trusted source for vaccine information

MONDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- The majority of parents believe childhood vaccinations are safe and important, and while the most-trusted resource parents list for vaccine safety information is their child's doctor, non-health professional resources carry some weight as well, according to research published online April 18 in Pediatrics.

Allison Kennedy, M.P.H., of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues surveyed 475 parents or guardians of children 6 years old or younger to gauge their attitudes, concerns, and information sources related to vaccination. They found that 93.4 percent said their youngest child had or would receive all recommended vaccines. Nearly 80 percent believed in the importance (79.8 percent) and safety (79 percent) of vaccines, and the most common concern was a child's pain from shots (44.2 percent). The team concluded that a holistic approach addressing parents' concerns is needed to maintain and improve childhood vaccine success in preventing disease.

Gary L. Freed, M.D., M.P.H., of the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor, and colleagues surveyed 2,521 parents of children up to 17 years old on sources they trust for vaccine-safety information. Of the 62 percent who responded, 76 percent trusted their children's doctor, 26 percent trusted other health care providers, 23 percent trusted government vaccine experts, and 15 percent trusted family and friends. Just 2 percent said they trusted celebrities.

"Although most parents place a lot of trust in their child(ren)'s physician, parents' trust in non-health professional sources for such information should not be discounted. Those who design public health efforts to provide evidence-based information must recognize that different strategies may be required to reach some groups of parents who use other information sources," Freed and colleagues conclude.

Abstract - Kennedy
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Abstract - Freed
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