The rate of influenza vaccination is low for children in India. The purpose of this study is to assess parental attitudes towards influenza vaccination in South India.
Participants were parents who brought their children to the Well Baby Clinic of Christian Medical College Hospital, Vellore, India for routine immunization. Participants answered questions by written survey while waiting for their children¡¯s vaccination.
A total of 456 surveys were completed (403 parents did not opt for trivalent influenza vaccination and 53 opted for influenza vaccination). The majority (53.60%) of those parents who did not accept influenza vaccination identified the lack of a doctor¡¯s recommendation as the main reason. When asked separately, many non-acceptors (44.91%) indicated that they did not believe or were not sure that the influenza vaccine was effective. Nearly all non-acceptors (92.56%) stated that they would opt for influenza vaccination if a doctor recommended it.
The most common reason that parents not opting for influenza vaccination for their children was the lack of recommendation by a doctor. The results of this study suggest that recommendation by a doctor is a more important factor than belief in efficacy, cost, or convenience in parental decision-making regarding childhood influenza vaccination in India, unlike the United States where parents are less likely to follow recommendations.
Key words: doctor recommendation; influenza; immunization parental attitudes; vaccination