PAS 2019—Second-dose pediatric influenza vaccine hesitancy: why does it exist?


  • Emily Willingham, PhD
  • Conference Reports
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Takeaway

  • Even parents whose children receive an initial dose of influenza vaccine may hesitate to get a second in the same season.
  • Many caregivers may have inaccurate beliefs about the influenza vaccine and the disease itself.

Why this matters

  • Children ages 6 months to 8 years often need a second dose of influenza vaccine in a single season, but only about half actually get the second dose.
  • This study uncovers some of the reasons caregivers who seem fine with a first dose refuse or hesitate about the second one.

Key results

  • 93.8% of caregivers apparently just figured that 1 shot would do the trick.
  • 11.7% had moderate-high hesitancy about vaccines anyway.
  • 40.2% of caregivers thought the influenza was “just a bad cold.”
  • 57% thought the shot would cause influenza.
  • 68% thought that the influenza could not be fatal to children.

Study design

  • 256 caregivers surveyed, 2017-2018; all had a child who had received a first influenza vaccine and needed a second dose in the same season.
  • Funding: NIH. 

Limitations

  • Conference presentation, and not peer-reviewed.