Parents’ concerns about vaccine scheduling in Shanghai, China

Volume 35, Issue 34, Pages 4295-4450 (3 August 2017)
Short communication

Parents’ concerns about vaccine scheduling in Shanghai, China
Original Research Article
Pages 4362-4367
Abram L. Wagner, Matthew L. Boulton, Xiaodong Sun, Zhuoying Huang, Irene A. Harmsen, Jia Ren, Brian J. Zikmund-Fisher
Several new vaccines have been introduced into China in recent years, but some parents in China have shown concerns about the scheduling of vaccinations for young infants. This study explores caregiver concerns about children receiving multiple vaccines during a single visit and about vaccine administration in infants <6 months, and assesses the degree to which these concerns are associated with ratings of the importance of different sources of vaccine information in Shanghai.
Caregivers of children 8 months to 7 years presenting at immunization clinics in Shanghai completed a survey about vaccine co-administration and vaccine administration <6 months of age. Respondents provided ratings of information from different sources (Internet, family/friends, other parents) and trust in doctors. We analyzed vaccine concerns using linear regression analyses that included these information sources after adjusting for socioeconomic variables.
Among 618 caregivers, 64% were concerned about vaccine co-administration and 31% were concerned about vaccine administration to infants <6 months of age. Higher ratings of Internet as an important source of information were associated with greater concern about co-administration (beta=0.11, 95% CI: 0.00, 0.22) and concern about administration at <6 months of age (beta=0.17, 95% CI: 0.05, 0.28). Higher ratings given to information from other parents corresponded to 0.24 points greater concern about vaccine co-administration (95% CI: 0.04, 0.44). More trust in doctors and ratings of information from friends and family were not associated with vaccine concerns.
Caregiver concerns about vaccine scheduling may limit China’s flexibility to add vaccines to its official immunization schedule. Reporting information about vaccine safety on the Internet and bringing groups of parents together to discuss vaccines might help to ameliorate concerns about vaccine scheduling.