Introduction: Children’s immunization has been one of the most important public health measures in the 20th century. However, a number of parents consider the vaccines unsafe and they are skeptical about their use.
Aim: The aim of the present study was to investigate parents’ perceptions and views on children’s vaccination.
Methods: Twenty parents (2 male and 18 female) were included in the present pilot study which was based on semi-structured interviews. Ten parents (females) were healthcare professionals (nurses and health visitors) and ten (2 males and 8 females) were not healthcare professionals. Interview data were analyzed using the thematic analysis technique.
Results: Results show that parents were concerned about vaccination safety, side effects of the vaccines, lifelong coverage of children, immune system overload, commercial purposes of vaccines and validity of information about vaccination. Comparisons between parents who were healthcare professionals and parents who had a different profession showed that the latter were more hesitant and had more misconceptions about vaccines.
Conclusions: The decision to vaccinate children or not is a huge responsibility towards every child, but also towards society. Healthcare professionals are able to provide objective information to parents to take informed decisions.
Keywords: health professionals, parental perceptions, child vaccination