Seasonal Influenza Vaccination among Saudi Children: Parental Barriers and Willingness to Vaccinate Their Children.Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 10 31; 16(21)IJ
Influenza is an acute respiratory infection. It is a contagious viral illness which can cause moderate to severe symptoms. However, high-risk groups, including children, can develop a severe condition requiring hospitalization that may, in severe cases, result in death. This study aimed to assess the knowledge and attitudes of Saudi parents toward the influenza vaccine and identify potential barriers to receiving the influenza vaccination. A cross-sectional survey was conducted using a questionnaire comprising 27 validated questions to assess parental awareness, knowledge, and attitudes toward the influenza vaccine. The overall attitude of the participants was positive (94.7%). However, their knowledge was generally poor (61.7%). Most participants were aware of the seasonal influenza vaccine (85.5%) and their children were up-to-date with the child national vaccination program vaccines (92.7%). Medical staff and awareness campaigns were the commonest sources of vaccine information. Significant predictors for knowledge about and attitudes toward the influenza vaccine included educational level, working in the medical field, monthly income, awareness of the seasonal influenza vaccine, having received the vaccine as parent, and having a child already vaccinated. Adherence to the influenza vaccination regimen for parents and their children was low. More educational campaigns are needed to increase knowledge about the vaccine.