Has the COVID-19 Pandemic Changed Parental Attitudes and Beliefs Regarding Vaccinating Their Children against the Flu?

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Abstract

Background: This study assessed whether the COVID-19 pandemic has altered parents’ attitudes toward vaccinating their children against the flu and barriers to school-based vaccination programs. Methods: A cross-sectional online survey was conducted with 975 parents of children aged 6 months to 11 years between 21–31 December 2022. A multivariate regression was performed to determine predictors of parents’ willingness to vaccinate their children against the flu in the winter of 2023. Results: 45% of parents did not plan to vaccinate their children against the flu, citing concerns about side effects and vaccine effectiveness; 39% already vaccinated their children, and 41% of them reported an increased intention to vaccinate following the pandemic. Only 37% of parents chose school-based vaccination programs, mainly due to a preference for HMO clinics and a lack of available nurses at school. The Health Belief Model variables, namely, perceived susceptibility, severity, and benefits, displayed the largest effect sizes. Conclusions: Healthcare providers and public health officials should address parents’ concerns about flu vaccine safety and efficacy to improve vaccination rates among children. Notably, the pandemic has increased vaccine receptivity among some parents. Enhancing accessibility to nursing staff in student health facilities could help boost vaccine uptake.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1519
JournalVaccines
Volume11
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 24 Sep 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the author.

Keywords

  • SARS-CoV-2
  • flu
  • health belief model
  • vaccine acceptance

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