528. Barriers to and Facilitators of Child Influenza Vaccination-Perspectives from Parents, Teens, Marketing, and Healthcare Personnel
Session: Poster Abstract Session: Influenza Vaccines
Friday, October 21, 2011
Room: Poster Hall B1
  • 528_KavithaBhatSchelbert.pdf (1.2 MB)
  • Background: The CDC recommends annual influenza vaccination for all children age 6 months and older. Effective strategies to improve influenza vaccination for children may depend upon the attitudes, opinions and beliefs of parents and teens.

    Methods: A trained qualitative researcher conducted 8 focus groups of 89 parents, teens, pediatric healthcare staff and providers, and immunization and marketing experts.  Questions addressed barriers to and facilitators of influenza vaccination in children and potential marketing strategies to increase vaccination rates. Focus groups were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim, and coded based on grounded theory.

    Results: Three themes were identified: barriers, facilitators, and strategies.  Barriers to influenza vaccination included fear, misinformation, and mistrust, with exacerbation of these barriers attributed to media messages. Many considered influenza vaccination unnecessary and inconvenient, but would accept vaccination if recipients or other family members were considered high risk, if recommended by their doctor or another trusted person, or if their children’s school offered and/or mandated it. Access to better information regarding effects of influenza disease, vaccine safety and efficacy, and the option of receiving the vaccine via nasal spray or vaccine was an important facilitator.  Other facilitators were the desire to prevent the inconvenience of missing work or important events and requests by the child to receive an influenza vaccine.  Suggestions for marketing influenza vaccine to children and teens included incentives, jingles, videos, wearable items, strategically-located information sheets or posters, promotion of vaccination by school nurses, sports coaches, and others who work with children and teens, as well as in-school vaccination. Participants suggested that messages be delivered via texting, internet, social networking sites, telephone, television, and through use of teenagers, informed counselors, or celebrity spokespersons. 

    Conclusion: To improve influenza vaccination rates for children, a cross section of participants recommended that influenza vaccination campaigns address fear, efficacy, the need for vaccination and highlight disease prevention.

    Subject Category: I. Adult and Pediatric Vaccines

    Kavitha Bhat-Schelbert, MD, MS1, Chyongchiou Jeng Lin, PhD1, Annamore Matambanadzo, PhD1, Kristin Hannibal, MD2, Mary Patricia Nowalk, PhD1 and Richard K. Zimmerman, MD MPH1, (1)Family Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, (2)General Academic Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA


    K. Bhat-Schelbert, None

    C. J. Lin, MedImmune: Consultant and Grant Investigator, Consulting fee and Research support
    Merck: Grant Investigator, Research support

    A. Matambanadzo, None

    K. Hannibal, None

    M. P. Nowalk, Medimmune: Consultant and Investigator, Consulting fee and Research support
    Merck: Grant Investigator, Research support

    R. K. Zimmerman, Sanofi: Grant Investigator, Research grant
    MedImmune: Consultant and Grant Investigator, Consulting fee and Research grant

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