BACKGROUND: It is unknown whether further expansion of the Dutch childhood vaccination program with other vaccines will be accepted and whom should be targeted in educational strategies.
AIM: To determine attitudes of parents towards possible future vaccinations for their children and the behavioural determinants associated with a negative attitude.
DESIGN: Questionnaire study.
METHODS: Parents of children aged between 3 months and 5 years of day-care centres were asked to fill out a questionnaire. Determinants of a negative attitude to comply with possible future vaccinations against example diseases such as pneumonia or influenza, hepatitis B, TBC, smallpox and SARS were assessed using polytomous logistic regression analysis.
RESULTS: Of the 283 respondents, 123 (43%) reported a positive attitude towards all vaccinations, 129 (46%) reported to have a positive attitude to have their child vaccinated against some diseases and 31 (11%) had no intention to comply with any new vaccination. Determinants of a fully negative attitude were a high education of the parent (odds ratio [OR] 3.3, 95% confidence interval [95% CI]: 1.3-8.6), being a health care worker (OR 4.2, 95% CI: 1.4-12.6), absence of religion (OR 2.6, 95% CI: 1.0-6.7), perception of vaccine ineffectiveness (OR 6.9, 95% CI: 2.5-18.9) and the perception that vaccinations cause asthma or allergies (OR 82.4, 95% CI: 8.9-766.8).
CONCLUSION: Modifiable determinants for a negative attitude to comply with new vaccinations are mainly based on lack of specific knowledge. These barriers to vaccinations might be overcome by improving health education in the vaccination program, especially when targeted at educated parents and health care workers.