What causes changes in mothers’ vaccine hesitancy over time?

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Photo credit: US National Cancer Institute, Photographer Rhoda Baer.

In a study at the VEC, it was found that mothers who were initially hesitant about vaccines described feeling fear, anxiety, and confusion when deciding about infant immunization. One described literally having nightmares about the decision whether to vaccinate her baby.

Dr. Devon Greyson presents these findings at the Canadian Immunization Conference 2016. Of 200 abstracts, this study was chosen as one of the Top 10 Scientific Abstracts of 2016.

The 23 participants of the study included parents with school aged-children whose thoughts and feelings about vaccinations had changed since first becoming a parent. Some may have become less worried about vaccines and some, more worried.

So, what reduces vaccine hesitancy over time?

    • Extra attention and information sharing with hesitant mothers (whether or not they vaccinate)
    • Positive immunization experiences
    • Adequate attention and time to address concerns after an AEFI or chronic health condition
    • Acknowledgement that while HCPs are trusted sources, some mothers will want to verify information (consistent, verifiable vaccine safety and effectiveness information)

For more information and to read the abstract, click here
Co-authors: Dr. Julie Bettinger, Dr. Gina Ogilvie, Dr. Simon Dobson