Most parents believe vaccines are safe for children, research finds

(Medical Xpress)—New research from the University of Adelaide shows that 95% of parents believe vaccines are safe for their children despite the spread of misinformation about vaccine safety.

The study, conducted by researchers in the University's Robinson Institute and School of , sought to better understand parents' to vaccines and the perceived risks associated with them.

The study surveyed a random sample of 469 South Australian parents. While 95% were confident in vaccine safety in general, almost half expressed some concern for the prior testing of vaccines, and one in four was not aware that Australia has a system of vaccine safety monitoring.

The results, now published in the international journal Vaccine, show that parents also commonly perceive and report to a that their child has experienced side effects from a vaccine.

"Our study demonstrates a high level of in vaccines among parents, but also some degree of concern about vaccine safety, in particular safety testing of vaccines before they are licensed for public use. This includes what to expect when their child is immunised," says the lead author of the study, PhD student Adriana Parrella from the University's Robinson Institute and the School of Population Health.

"Anti-immunisation groups have worked hard to spread about vaccines, and often this has been widely reported in the media. But until now, little has been known about what Australian parents really think about vaccine safety, and how they respond to a perceived adverse event.

"Parents have shown some concern about the side effects of vaccines, with more than 40% saying their child experienced side effects, and about 30% of parents whose child had experienced side effects having sought further or advice for their child after the immunisation had been given. Most of the side effects parents stated their children had previously experienced were common and expected effects following vaccination, such as fever or redness at the injection site.

"Our study suggests that more could be done to educate parents about what the normal of vaccines are and that healthcare providers are an important source of information about vaccine safety for parents. We might also need to raise awareness about the safety testing of vaccines prior to their clinical use and the existence of a surveillance system that monitors the ongoing safety of all vaccines," Ms Parrella says.

This is one of three studies on surveillance being conducted by Ms Parrella as part of her PhD.

More information: www.sciencedirect.com/science/… ii/S0264410X13001643

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Do vaccines cause autism, asthma and diabetes?

Jun 11, 2008

Almost 70% of parents who refuse to vaccinate their children do so because they believe vaccines may cause harm. Indeed vaccines have been blamed for causing asthma, autism, diabetes, and many other conditions--most of which ...

Recommended for you

WHO: Millions of Ebola vaccine doses ready in 2015

Oct 24, 2014

The World Health Organization says millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines will start being tested in March.

Added benefit of vedolizumab is not proven

Oct 23, 2014

Vedolizumab (trade name Entyvio) has been approved since May 2014 for patients with moderately to severely active Crohn disease or ulcerative colitis. In an early benefit assessment pursuant to the Act on the Reform of the ...

Seaweed menace may yield new medicines

Oct 22, 2014

An invasive seaweed clogging up British coasts could be a blessing in disguise. University of Greenwich scientists have won a cash award to turn it into valuable compounds which can lead to new, life-saving drugs.

User comments