Attitudes of Suburban Kansan Parents Regarding School-Required Immunizations and the Influences of the Coronavirus Pandemic
Keywords:Parents, Vaccine, Attitudes, Coronavirus, Influenza
Introduction. Understanding parental attitudes and adherence of recommended childhood vaccination schedules adopts a new level of importance in the era of the Sars-CoV-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. With hopes for release of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine within the near future, understanding parental perception of vaccines is important to design successful vaccination interventions.
Methods. A cross-sectional survey was administered to approximately 900 parents in the state of Kansas in May, 2020. Pearson chi square and Mann-Whitney U tests were utilized to analyze the assess the attitudes of Kansas parents towards a potential addition of the influenza vaccine to the required list for K-12 students and furthermore, their general perception of vaccinations, and the impact of COVID-19 on those beliefs.
Results. 179 responded. 51% (n=92) were in favor of adding the influenza vaccine to the mandatory list (Pro-Addition). Anti-Addition parents had significantly higher levels of distrust (2.1, p<0.001) and were significantly more concerned about vaccine adverse effects. When presented with a hypothetical situation in which a “safe and effective” COVID-19 vaccine was available, these parents were significantly less likely to indicate they would receive the vaccine or obtain it for their children (53 people, p<0.001).
Conclusions. Pro-Addition and Anti-Addition parents are markedly split on their attitudes towards the addition and the effects of the pandemic. Follow-up qualitative studies of Anti-Addition parents are critical for successful vaccine distribution and coverage in the communities.
Copyright (c) 2021 Simon Beatty, Jennifer Villwock, M.D.
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