Vaccine hesitancy among parents in a multi-ethnic country, Malaysia

Volume 35, Issue 22, Pages 2871-3006 (19 May 2017)

Vaccine hesitancy among parents in a multi-ethnic country, Malaysia
Original Research Article
Pages 2955-2961
Fatin Shaheera Mohd Azizi, Yueting Kew, Foong Ming Moy
Vaccine hesitancy is a threat in combating vaccine-preventable diseases. It has been studied extensively in the Western countries but not so among Asian countries.
To assess the test-retest reliability of the Parent Attitudes about Childhood Vaccines (PACV) questionnaire in Malay language; to determine the prevalence of vaccine hesitancy among parents and its associations with parents’ socio-demographic characteristics.
Forward and backward translation of PACV in Malay language was carried out. The reliability of the Malay-PACV questionnaire was tested among parents with children. The same questionnaire was used to study vaccine hesitancy among parents in a tertiary hospital in Kuala Lumpur. Information pertaining to socio-demographic characteristics, sources of information regarding vaccination and vaccine hesitancy were collected. Associations between vaccine hesitancy with socio-demographic factors were tested using Multivariable Logistic Regression.
The Spearman correlation coefficient and Cronbach alpha for total PACV was 0.79 (p < 0.001) and 0.79 respectively. The intra-class correlation coefficients of the subscales ranged from 0.54 to 0.90 demonstrating fair to excellent reliability. A total of 63 (11.6%) parents were noted to be vaccine hesitant. In the univariate analyses, vaccine hesitancy was associated with unemployed parents, parents who were younger, had fewer children and non-Muslim. In the multivariate model, pregnant mothers expecting their first child were four times more likely to be vaccine hesitant compared to those who already had one or more children (aOR: 3.91, 95% CI: 1.74–8.79) and unemployed parents were also more likely to be vaccine hesitant (aOR: 1.97, 95% CI: 1.08–3.59). The internet (65.6%) was the main source of information on vaccination followed by brochures (56.9%).
The Malay-PACV questionnaire is reliable to be used. The prevalence of vaccine hesitancy among the multi-ethnic Malaysians was comparable with other populations. Pregnant mothers expecting their first child and unemployed parents were found to be more vaccine hesitant.