Celebrating Immunization: Understanding why some parents are hesitant about vaccines


April 22nd - 29th, 2017
The VEC is celebrating National Immunization Awareness Week by sharing five of our chosen immunization stories about our research. Take a look at all five stories here or by heading to our homepage.

Researchers at the VEC are listening to parents about their opinions on immunizations in hopes to understand reasons for the growing concern of vaccine hesitancy. Based on interviews with mothers whose attitudes about vaccinations had changed over time, It was found that mothers who were initially hesitant about vaccines described feeling fear, anxiety, and confusion when deciding about infant immunization. Read more:

Why is this a concern that we need to learn more about?

Low vaccination coverage can lead to re-emergence of infectious diseases like pertussis and measles. “Identifying the reasons why Canadians accept or refuse vaccines is essential to learning how to develop, evaluate and promote effective strategies for immunization,” said a Public Health Agency of Canada spokeswoman. Quote – Ottawa Citizen

The research suggests that health care providers can play a role in helping reduce vaccine hesitancy by building open and supportive relationships of trust between provider and patient. Listening to parents’ concerns, following up with parents who experience a health scare or new diagnosis, and providing consistent and verifiable vaccine safety and effectiveness information may be helpful. This study is led by VEC researcher Dr. Julie Bettinger and VEC Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Devon Greyson.

This research received news coverage in Sun Media, Ottawa Citizen, and UBC news