Parental perceptions of childhood seasonal influenza vaccination in Singapore: A cross-sectional survey.Vaccine. 2017 10 27; 35(45):6096-6102.V
Seasonal influenza vaccination is recommended in children aged 6-59months, but little is known about child vaccination coverage and determinants in Asian settings. We report the results of a survey of knowledge, attitudes, practices, and determinants of child influenza vaccination in Singapore.
In December 2015-March 2016, we conducted a survey of 332 parents of children aged 6months to 5years attending pre-schools. We assessed child influenza vaccine coverage and parental knowledge, attitudes, and practices of child influenza vaccination. We used multivariable regression and structural equation models to identify factors associated with child influenza vaccination.
Knowledge about influenza, perceived benefit of vaccination, and willingness to vaccinate were high. However, only 32% of children had ever received influenza vaccine, and only 15% in the past year. Factors independently associated with child influenza vaccination included: being recommended influenza vaccine by a child's doctor (prevalence ratio (PR)=2.47, 95% CI: 1.75-3.48); receiving influenza vaccine information from a private general practitioner (PR=1.47, 95% CI: 1.05-2.04); regularly receiving pre-travel influenza vaccine (PR=1.64, 95% CI: 1.19-2.25); higher willingness to vaccinate (PR=1.58, 95% CI:1.24-2.04 per unit increase in willingness score); and feeling well-informed about influenza vaccine (PR=1.44, 95% CI: 1.04-1.99). Parents who obtained influenza vaccine information from television were less likely to have vaccinated their child (PR=0.44, 95% CI: 0.23-0.85). Path analysis indicated that being recommended vaccination by a child's doctor increased willingness to vaccinate and self-efficacy (feeling well-informed about influenza vaccine). Median willingness-to-pay for a dose of influenza vaccine was SGD30 (interquartile range: SGD20-SGD50), and was higher in parents of vaccinated compared with unvaccinated children (SGD45vs SGD30, p=0.0012).
Knowledge and willingness to vaccinate was high in this parent population, but influenza vaccine uptake in children was low. Encouraging medical professionals to recommend vaccination of eligible children is key to improving uptake.