Parental views on vaccine safety and future vaccinations of children who experienced an adverse event following routine or seasonal influenza vaccination in 2010
To assess parental vaccine safety views and future vaccination decisions after an adverse event following immunisation (AEFI) experienced by their child. A cross-sectional telephone survey was conducted of parents of children aged 0–7 y, identified in AEFI reports submitted to the South Australian Immunisation Section, Department Health. The reports included childhood National Immunisation Program (NIP), seasonal or pandemic influenza vaccines. Interviews were conducted following a national suspension of the 2010 seasonal trivalent influenza (STIV) vaccine. Parental attitudes toward vaccine safety, reasons for reporting the AEFI and impact on future vaccination intent were assessed. Of 179 parents interviewed, 88% were confident in the safety of vaccines in general. Parents reporting an AEFI to the STIV were more likely to state the event had influenced future vaccination decisions than the NIP vaccine reporters (65% vs 14%, p < 0.001), with 63% stating refusal or hesitance to re-vaccinate their children against influenza. Media reports of the 2010 STIV program suspension was the most common reason for reporting an AEFI for parents of children who received an influenza vaccination. The AEFI experience did not impact on parental decision to continue with routine childhood NIP schedules, regardless of whether children received influenza or NIP vaccines. In contrast, most parents whose child experienced an AEFI to the 2010 STIV stated decreased confidence in the safety of influenza vaccines, which is likely to have impacted on the uptake of seasonal influenza vaccination in 2011. Addressing influenza vaccine safety concerns to promote influenza vaccination in the community is required.