142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Vaccine knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of New Mexico (NM) vaccine exemptors

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 : 10:50 AM - 11:10 AM

Karen Scherzinger, MS , NM Emerging Infections Program, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
Angela Tang, MPH , Infectious Disease Epidemiology Bureau, New Mexico Department of Health, Santa Fe, NM
David Selvage, MHS, PA-C , Infectious Disease Epidemiology Bureau, Epidemiology and Response Division, New Mexico Department of Health
Elisa Potter, MPH , Immunization Program, New Mexico Department of Health, Santa Fe, NM
Joan Baumbach, MD, MS, MPH , Infectious Disease Epidemiology Bureau, Epidemiology and Response Division, New Mexico Department of Health
The New Mexico (NM) Department of Health requires a formal exemption process for children who cannot show documentation of required vaccination before daycare/school attendance. NM vaccine exemption rates have increased threefold since 1999. A telephone survey was designed to characterize NM families submitting exemption forms.

Telephone interviews were attempted with all NM families who requested a 2011 exemption. Respondents were assigned to “slightly/somewhat hesitant” and “very hesitant” groups based on self-described vaccine hesitancy level. Chi-square tests were performed to identify differences in modifiable knowledge, attitudes and behaviors between groups (p≤0.05).

Of 3,372 eligible vaccine exemptors, 729 families completed interviews. Analysis was limited to slightly/somewhat hesitant (286) and very hesitant (389) respondents. While a similarly high proportion of both groups felt they were knowledgeable about vaccines (97% and 99%, respectively) and felt comfortable discussing vaccine concerns with their child’s provider, there were significant differences in their beliefs. Slightly/somewhat hesitant parents more often agreed that vaccines are important to prevent community disease spread (75% vs. 32%, p≤0.05), while very hesitant parents were more likely to report that they felt some vaccines caused autism (72% vs. 48%, p≤0.05), that natural immunity (by getting the disease) was better than vaccines (72% vs. 47%, p≤0.05), and that they could adequately protect their children without vaccines (86% vs. 51%, p≤0.05). The perception of “harmful additives” was important to both groups, while a larger proportion of slightly/somewhat hesitant parents reported they would vaccinate their children using an alternative schedule. Significant differences were also noted in vaccine information source and primary care provider choice.

Several vaccine-related belief differences were identified between slightly/somewhat hesitant and very hesitant families. Results will allow the state health department to tailor vaccine messaging.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control

Learning Objectives:
Describe differences in vaccine knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors between slightly/somewhat vaccine hesitant and very vaccine hesitant parents. Identify areas for tailoring vaccine messaging.

Keyword(s): Immunizations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am coordinator of two federally-funded special studies involving vaccine-preventable diseases. I have over 10 years experience with data analysis.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.