DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18203/2349-3291.ijcp20163665

What do parents think? Knowledge and awareness about newer vaccines: a cross-sectional study in South Indian city

Shalini Akunuri, Anjul Dayal

Abstract


Background:One of the most cost-effective health interventions is immunization. Parental awareness regarding vaccines influences the immunization rate to a great extent. This study evaluates the awareness regarding newer vaccines among parents, to understand their perception towards immunization, to determine the association of their knowledge with selected demographic variables and to identify solutions to address the knowledge gap.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted at Lotus Children’s Hospital, Hyderabad, India from June 2013-June 2014. Immunization knowledge and attitude among 550 parents was evaluated through a questionnaire.

Results:Eighty percent of the parents were unaware that there are few vaccines which are in the recommended immunization calendar, but are not administered as per national program. Most of the parents are unaware of the newer vaccines being available and the disease prevented by them. Parents have misconceptions regarding vaccine efficacy, side effects, safety profile. Doctors were the main source of information (55%) and mass media (television, radio, newspaper) was underutilized. Level of knowledge directly correlated with maternal literacy (P ≤ 0.05) and to a lesser extent with fathers’ literacy and advancing age was associated with better knowledge (P ≤ 0.05).   

Conclusions:There is limited knowledge among parents regarding newer vaccines. Every opportunity of contact with the parents should be utilized by the doctors for imparting health education. It is prudent to target young parents and especially mothers. Vaccine awareness should be enhanced through the use of mass media. Government must include these newer vaccines in the national immunization program in a phase wise manner.  


Keywords


Immunization, Knowledge and perception, Newer vaccines, Parental education

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