J Pediatr Infect Dis 2018; 13(03): 169-177
DOI: 10.1055/s-0037-1620266
Original Article
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Development of Vaccine Preferences among Parents of Newborns

J. Nathan Yarnall
1  Department of Pediatrics, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States
2  University of North Carolina School of Public Health, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States
3  Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, United States
,
Jamie Knowles
1  Department of Pediatrics, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States
,
Jacob A. Lohr
1  Department of Pediatrics, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

09 August 2017

11 December 2017

Publication Date:
17 January 2018 (eFirst)

Abstract

Objective Vaccine hesitancy and refusal and the resulting outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases continue to be an issue today. Most of contemporary research on these issues has focused on underlying characteristics of non-vaccinators and ambivalent parents; however, few studies have looked into how or when vaccine preferences develop. In this study, we sought to explore when parental preferences for vaccines develop in relation to a pregnancy. We also examined self-reported influences on vaccine decision making.

Methods We recruited and administered a short survey to parents at the North Carolina Women's Hospital in Chapel Hill, NC, following the birth of their child from February to April 2015.

Results A total of 166 parents (55%) completed the entire survey. Seventy-two percent of surveyed parents reported deciding on their vaccine preferences for their newborn before conception. Parents who were older, Caucasian, married, and had attained higher levels of education were significantly more likely to develop preconception vaccine preferences. The presence of partner conversations in the past and the desire for more information on vaccines were also significant predictors of preconception vaccine preference development. After logistic regression adjustment, only education level and past vaccine conversations remained significant. The most common influences for vaccine decision making were family, friends, and medical staff and organizations.

Conclusion Our study documents that a majority of parents establish vaccine decision making and preferences before conception. Notable influences from friends, family, and medical sources are part of the process. These findings suggest that vaccine information and interventions currently are given too late in the vaccine preference decision-making process.