Vaccine-Hesitant and Vaccine-Refusing Parents’ Reflections on the Way Parenthood Changed Their Attitudes to Vaccination
- 370 Downloads
Having children compels parents to examine their vaccine beliefs, particularly if they are vaccine-hesitant or refuse all vaccines. Presently, little is known about the specific ways in which having children influences the vaccine beliefs of parents. This research examined how having children changed the attitudes of Australian vaccine-hesitant and vaccine-refusing parents towards childhood vaccination. We asked 904 Australian parents who believed that having children changed their attitudes to vaccination to describe these changes. Parents’ responses were inductively, iteratively coded and thematically analysed. Themes were compared between parents who believed all vaccines should be refused, parents with varying degrees of vaccine hesitancy, and parents who were fully vaccine-accepting. Low numbers of responses from fully vaccine-accepting parents meant that this paper focused on mostly vaccine-hesitant and vaccine-refusing vaccine parents. Five themes were identified. Having children prompted all parents to learn about vaccine choices. Hesitant and refusing parents’ interpreted vaccine choices through a lens of distrust of pharmaceutical companies and regulatory bodies overseeing vaccine safety. The distrust fuelled parents’ fears about vaccination risks, such as side effects. Parents became concerned about the scheduled timing of vaccinations, particularly of the Hepatitis B vaccine. Parents among the three groups that believed some or all vaccines should be refused reported that a vaccine permanently injured their child. This research contributes to understanding how having children affects the vaccine attitudes among vaccine-hesitant and vaccine-refusing parents. Greater support for parents with negative vaccination experiences may prevent hesitant attitudes. The vaccination schedule needs to be communicated to parents better.
KeywordsVaccine hesitancy Parental Attitude Australia Qualitative Adverse reactions
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- 2.Attwell, K., Meyer, S., & Ward, P. (2018). The social basis of vaccine questioning and refusal: A qualitative study employing Bourdieu’s concepts of ‘capitals’ and ‘habitus’. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health,15(5), 1044. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15051044.CrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 6.Berry, N. J., Henry, A., Danchin, M., Trevena, L. J., Willaby, H. W., & Leask, J. (2017). When parents won’t vaccinate their children: A qualitative investigation of australian primary care providers’ experiences. BMC Pediatrics,17, 19. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12887-017-0783-2.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 9.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). Maternal vaccines: Part of a healthy pregnancy. Retrieved July 29, 2018 from https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pregnancy/pregnant-women/index.html.
- 10.Chow, M. Y. K., Danchin, M., Willaby, H., Pemberton, S., & Leask, J. (2017). Parental attitudes, beliefs, behaviours and concerns towards childhood vaccinations in Australia: A national online survey. Australian Family Physician, 46, 145–151.Google Scholar
- 12.Danchin, M. H., Costa-Pinto, J., Attwell, K., Willaby, H., Wiley, K., Hoq, M.,… Marshall, H. (2017). Vaccine decision-making begins in pregnancy: Correlation between vaccine concerns, intentions and maternal vaccination with subsequent childhood vaccine uptake. Vaccine. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2017.08.003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 13.Department of Health. (2013). National Immunisation Strategy for Australia: 2013–2018. Retrieved June 15, 2016 from Australia http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/B2D3E81EEDF2346ACA257D4D0081E4BC/$File/nat-immune-strategy-2013-18-final.pdf.
- 14.Department of Health. (2017). Further Strengthening No Jab, No Pay. Retrieved December 18, 2017 from http://www.health.gov.au/internet/ministers/publishing.nsf/Content/health-mediarel-yr2017-hunt041.htm.
- 15.Dey, A., Wang, H., Quinn, H. E., Hill, R., & Macartney, K. (2016). Surveillance of adverse events following immunisation in Australia annual report, 2014. Communicable Diseases Intelligence,40(3), 14.Google Scholar
- 18.Glanz, J. M., Newcomer, S. R., Daley, M. F., et al. (2018). Association between estimated cumulative vaccine antigen exposure through the first 23 months of life and non-vaccine-targeted infections from 24 through 47 months of age. JAMA,319(9), 906–913. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2018.0708.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 19.Glanz, J. M., Wagner, N. M., Narwaney, K. J., Shoup, J. A., McClure, D. L., McCormick, E. V., et al. (2013). A mixed methods study of parental vaccine decision making and parent-provider trust. Academic Pediatrics,13(5), 481–488. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acap.2013.05.030.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 23.Harmsen, I. A., Mollema, L., Ruiter, R. A. C., Paulussen, T. G. W., de Melker, H. E., & Kok, G. (2013). Why parents refuse childhood vaccination: A qualitative study using online focus groups. BMC Public Health,13(1), 1183. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-13-1183.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 30.Mills, E., Jadad, A. R., Ross, C., & Wilson, K. (2005). Systematic review of qualitative studies exploring parental beliefs and attitudes toward childhood vaccination identifies common barriers to vaccination. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology,58(11), 1081–1088. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2005.09.002.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 31.Peretti-Watel, P., Larson, H. J., Ward, J. K., Schulz, W. S., & Verger, P. (2015). Vaccine hesitancy: Clarifying a theoretical framework for an ambiguous notion. PLoS Currents. https://doi.org/10.1371/currents.outbreaks.6844c80ff9f5b273f34c91f71b7fc289.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 32.Peretti-Watel, P., Ward, J. K., Vergelys, C., Bocquier, A., Raude, J., & Verger, P. (2019). ‘I think I made the right decision … I hope I’m not wrong’. Vaccine hesitancy, commitment and trust among parents of young children. Sociology of Health & Illness. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9566.12902.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 40.Swart, R. (2019). Thematic analysis of survey responses from undergraduate students. In SAGE research methods. London: SAGE Pty. Ltd.Google Scholar
- 42.Truven Health Analytics. (2015). NPR Health Poll: Vaccinations. Retrieved May 26, 2018 from United States of America https://vaccinefactcheck.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/nprpulsevaccinations_may15.pdf.
- 43.Wakefield, A. (2016). Vaxxed: From cover-up to catastrophe. CA: Cinema Libre Burbank.Google Scholar
- 44.Ward, P. R., Attwell, K., Meyer, S. B., Rokkas, P., & Leask, J. (2017). Understanding the perceived logic of care by vaccine-hesitant and vaccine-refusing parents: A qualitative study in Australia. PLoS ONE,12(10), e0185955. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0185955.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 46.World Health Organization. (2018). WHO vaccine-preventable diseases: monitoring system. 2018 Global Summary. Retrieved July 24, 2018 from http://apps.who.int/immunization_monitoring/globalsummary/schedules.