Predictors of administration and attitudes about pneumo, Hib and rotas vaccines among pediatricians in India:

Volume 30, Issue 24, Pages 3489-3722 (21 May 2012)

Regular Papers
Predictors of administration and attitudes about pneumococcal, Haemophilus influenzae type b and rotavirus vaccines among pediatricians in India: A national survey
Original Research Article
Pages 3541-3545
Lisa M. Gargano, Naveen Thacker, Panna Choudhury, Paul S. Weiss, Karen Pazol, Sunil Bahl, Hamid S. Jafari, Manisha Arora, Walter A. Orenstein, James M. Hughes, Saad B. Omer

According to the World Health Organization in 2008, pneumonia accounted for 20% of deaths and diarrheal diseases accounted for 13% of deaths among children under 5 in India. Vaccines are available for Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV)), Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib vaccine), and rotavirus. Barriers to including these vaccines in routine immunization schedule in India include potential negative impacts on fragile existing immunization programs and cost. Pediatricians who are members of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) are important stakeholders for vaccine delivery and maintaining public confidence in vaccines.

A random sample of 785 pediatricians belonging to IAP was selected for the survey conducted from June 2009 to June 2010. Descriptive analyses using sampling weights were performed to evaluate the distributions of variables assessing vaccine-related attitudes and behaviors among pediatricians. Logistic regression was used to assess factors associated with routine vaccine use.

The majority of pediatricians reported administering PCV (85.6%), Hib (95.9%), and rotavirus (80.2%) vaccine selectively or routinely. Pediatricians who had high perceived disease susceptibility were 2.42 times more likely to report routine administration of Hib vaccine (OR 2.42, 95% CI 1.24, 4.74). Pediatricians who had high perceived Hib vaccine efficacy were 4.74 times more likely to administer Hib vaccine routinely (OR 4.74, 95% CI 2.09, 10.74). Perceptions of disease susceptibility and severity or of vaccine safety and efficacy were not associated with routine administration of PCV or rotavirus vaccine.

Understanding predictors of routine use of a new vaccine could help focus interventions to improve the routine use of other vaccines. The importance of perceived susceptibility to and severity of diseases caused by S. pneumoniae, Hib, and rotavirus and perceived efficacy and safety of the vaccines by pediatricians presents an opportunity to design strategies to build support for new vaccine introduction and may have important implications for national immunization policy in India.