Flood EM et al. Clin Ther. 2010 Aug;32(8):1448-67.

Despite the CDC recommendations to vaccinate children aged 6 months to 18 years against the flu every year, the vaccination rates in this population remain disappointingly low. A recent study investigated the factors influencing parental decisions regarding vaccination of children aged 2-12 years.   The sample included 500 parents who were asked, among other things, with what frequency their children had been vaccinated and what influenced the decision to vaccinate or not vaccinate their children. Amongst parents who vaccinated their children every year or sometimes, the main factors influencing their decision were prevention of flu (95.1%), doctor’s recommendation (89.5%) and desire to reduce severity of flu symptoms (83.3%). Amongst parents who did not vaccinate their children or who sometimes vaccinated, the most common barriers to vaccination included perception of a low risk of contracting flu (46%), belief that the vaccination itself causes flu (44%) and concerns about vaccination side effects (36.36%). Increase in parental awareness of the dangers of flu and the safety of vaccination as well as improvement in ease of vaccination access may increase rates of childhood vaccination.