Parental and societal support for adolescent immunization through school based immunization programs
Adolescent immunizations such as human papillomavirus vaccine have been implemented through school based immunization programs (SBIPs) in Australia. We assessed community attitudes toward immunization of adolescents though SBIPs.
A cross-sectional population survey of rural and metropolitan households in South Australia in 2011. Univariate and multiple regression analyses identified predictors of support for a SBIP.
Participation rate was 57.3% with 1926 adults interviewed. Overall, 75.9% regarded school as the best place to offer adolescent immunizations, with 16.4% preferring the family physician. Parents of high school students were most supportive (88.4%) of a SBIP with 87.9% of their adolescents reported as having participated in the program. Adults 18–34 years (79.4%) were more likely to support a SBIP compared to older adults (68.7% of >55 years) [adjusted OR = 2.39, p = 0.002] and men were more supportive (80.3%) than women (71.7%) [adjusted OR = 1.54, p = 0.003]. Reasons for participation in the SBIP included convenience (39.9%), public funding for the service (32.4%), and confidence in immunization recommendations (21.0%).
Public support for the SBIP was very high particularly amongst parents whose adolescent/s had participated in the program.