Emphasizing vaccine benefits could be key

September 4, 2014

How vaccines are presented to parents can increase their intention to vaccinate their children, according to a recent study on emphasizing the benefits of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine to parents.

 

How vaccines are presented to parents can increase their intention to vaccinate their children, according to a recent study on emphasizing the benefits of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine to parents.

Investigators at the Indiana University School of Medicine used a national online survey to provide 802 parents of infants aged younger than 12 months with 1 of 4 messages on the MMR vaccines: 1) the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vaccine Information Statement (VIS); 2) VIS and information emphasizing the MMR vaccine’s benefits for the child; 3) VIS and information emphasizing societal benefits of the vaccine; and 4) VIS and information emphasizing the benefits for both society and the child. Parents were asked to report the likelihood of vaccinating their infants for MMR on a scale of 0 (extremely unlikely) to 100 (extremely likely) after receiving the message.

Dispatches: A call to care

Parents who received information on the benefit of MMR for both the child and society reported an average likelihood of almost 91, and those who received information emphasizing benefits for the child had an average intention rate of nearly 92. Parents who received additional information about the MMR vaccine’s benefit to society, but no extra information about benefits for the child, had an intention rate of 86.4, which was barely higher than the intention rate of parents who received only the VIS (intention rate, 86.3).

Lead investigator Kristin Hendrix, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics, highlighted the fact that parents were most likely to vaccinate when healthcare providers emphasized the benefit of the MMR vaccine to their child. However, the researchers point out that healthcare providers and public health officials should seek a way to compellingly communicate the benefits of herd immunity, a key societal benefit of vaccination.


 

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