The Importance Of Vaccine Hesitancy In Infants

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The debate on whether or not to vaccinate infants has been a hot topic the past few years. Recent studies and articles have verified the growing fears and concerns over vaccine safety especially in infants and children. These fears and concerns are a major cause of parental vaccine hesitancy in infants and children. Vaccine hesitancy, which is the refusal or delay of vaccination, can lead to decreased immunization rates in infants. Anyone familiar with vaccinations should agree that infants who are not vaccinated are more susceptible to vaccine preventable diseases. On the other hand, vaccinated individuals are less likely to succumb to the disabilities, illnesses, and even death caused by specific vaccine preventable diseases, as for …show more content…
In this study, 802 participants were chosen and randomly assigned to four balanced arms reflecting four separate vaccine messaging strategies for MMR. Each parents’ eligibility was confirmed by a survey provided by the authors. Participants were questioned via an online survey respective to their assigned vaccine messaging arm. The four vaccine messages were as follows: (1) The MMR Vaccine Information Sheet (VIS); (2) VIS along with information regarding MMR benefits to the infant directly; (3) VIS plus information explaining societal benefits of MMR; and (4) VIS plus information of the benefits of MMR vaccine to both the individual infant and society. Results showed (2) had a greater increase in parents’ intention to vaccinate their infant as compared to both (1) and (3). The authors report their statistical findings of (2) as: Mean intention = 91.6, P = .01 (Hendrix et al., 2014). The findings of this study suggest that parents given the information of benefits directly to their infant have significantly higher vaccine intention than those given societal or VIS messaging …show more content…
The authors use one vaccination to test vaccine intent. Still, the results may still hold true with other vaccinations due to the overall fear and hesitancy of vaccinations in general. This study only used participants with one-year-old infants. Some readers may question whether infant age could affect parental vaccine hesitancy. However, parental vaccine hesitancy is most likely prevalent throughout the infant’s suggested vaccine schedule which starts at birth. Therefore, infant age should not play a large factor in results. A large randomized sample was obtained for this study. It appears, however, that the majority of participants were Caucasian (76.08%) and mothers (79.78%). It is possible that sociodemographic variance could result in disparate vaccine intentions (Hendrix et al., 2014). Also, although the participants were asked if they have ever refused vaccination for one of their children, the authors did not ask them if they had current and active vaccine hesitancy. The parent attitudes or beliefs could have changed from what they once were. Therefore, it would behoove future studies to test the effects of vaccine messaging on parents with confirmed and current vaccine hesitancy only, and to use a more diverse sociographic selection of participants (Hendrix et al.,

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