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Tracking Parents’ Concerns about Childhood Vaccines

Why do parents fail to seek vaccinations for their children? This question of vaccine acceptance is not new. In the 1950’s, with the number of polio cases surging and with a safe and effective vaccine available, some people still declined to be vaccinated or to have their children vaccinated. In response, the Public Health Service began research to understand why. In 1959 Irwin Rosenstock published the seminal paper in Public Health Reports titled “Why People Fail to Seek Poliomyelitis Vaccination” (Issue 74, Number 2). That paper described reasons why adults may have chosen not to vaccinate themselves or their children. His summary of reasons became the basis of a theory of human behavior known today as the Health Belief Model.

The purpose of this webcast is to return to Rosenstock’s question, “Why do parents fail to seek vaccinations for their children?” This presentation will use data from the 2009 National Immunization Survey to provide an answer to that question framed within the context of the celebrated Health Beliefs Model. We will also provide a modern-day validation of Rosenstock’s model by presenting an evaluation of the close association between vaccination coverage and responses to factors included in his model.

PHR Article  | Webcast Archive

  • Featured Speakers

    Philip Smith, PhD

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease

    Edgar Marcuse, MD, MPH

    University of Washington School of Public Health

    Sharon Humiston, MD, MPH

    Children’s Mercy Hospitals & Clinics, Kansas City, MO