Factors Associated With Parental Observation of Side Effects Following the Child Flu Vaccine

2016-09-21 20:23:22 | BioPortfolio


This study investigates whether there are psychological predictors of parental perception of side-effects following vaccination with the child flu vaccine. We will also investigate whether the perception of side-effects affects parents' intention to vaccinate their child again in the following flu season, as well as whether there are underlying differences in parents' cognitive biases between those who do and do not re-vaccinate their child.


In 2012, the British Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommended that the influenza vaccination programme be extended to include children aged 2 to 16. In the three flu seasons in which the child flu immunisation programme has been running (2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16), uptake rates have been low (approximately 40%). Multiple factors are likely to underlie the poor uptake, including thinking the vaccine was unsafe and ineffective and having experienced side-effects related to the vaccine previously.

Although symptoms are commonly reported following vaccinations, their causes are not always straightforward. Although a minority may be directly attributable to the vaccine itself, others may reflect pre-existing or coincidental symptoms that are misattributed to the vaccine. Following vaccination, an expectation that the vaccine causes side-effects may also contribute to parents detecting symptoms in their child that might otherwise have gone unnoticed. Perception of side-effects may also influence the parent's decision to vaccinate their child again in following years.

Other possible factors influencing parents' perception of side-effects and their willingness to vaccinate their child again are their personal health beliefs and their interpretations of the information they are given about vaccination and side-effects. These cognitive processes can be measured objectively using experimental tasks, and can reveal characteristic patterns, or 'cognitive biases' which govern behaviour.

Study Design

Observational Model: Cohort, Time Perspective: Prospective


Influenza Vaccine, Influenza


No intervention


Not yet recruiting


King's College London

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2016-09-21T20:23:22-0400

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