Aug 19, 2019

Why parents do not vaccinate children against measles – results of the survey

The incidence of measles among the population of Ukraine is 48 times higher than the corresponding European indicator – in Ukraine in 2018, 125 per 100 thousand people suffered from measles, while in Europe 2.6 cases of the disease were recorded per 100 thousand people.

Since the end of 2017, the Ministry of Health has been implementing an enhanced measles vaccination program that targets children 1–9 years old with a missing or incomplete course of vaccination. To find out why parents do not vaccinate children against measles The Interventional Epidemiological Service-Ukraine conducted a survey of parents of those children who had measles after the introduction of this program.

93% of the parents surveyed did not vaccinate their children because they did not believe in the effectiveness of the procedure or were afraid of side effects. Concerns about side effects of vaccines are common among 78% of respondents. 95% of respondents were aware of the measles vaccine, and 61% of them knew that two doses of the vaccine needed to be received. However, only 33% of respondents knew that vaccination is the most effective means of protecting children during a measles outbreak. Others hoped to avoid the disease by limiting contacts and enhancing immunity.

32% of respondents believe that children receive more vaccinations than necessary and 55% would prefer to choose which diseases to vaccinate against. 38% of parents believe that healthy children do not need vaccination at all, but 83% agree that most diseases that can be vaccinated against are serious ones.

The survey covered the parents of children without measles vaccines or with an incomplete set of vaccines that had measles in 2017-2018 in 7 regions of Ukraine.

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