Understanding reasons for participating in a school-based influenza vaccination program and decision-making dynamics among adolescents and parents

Natasha L. Herbert, Lisa M. Gargano, Julia E. Painter, Jessica M. Sales, Christopher Morfaw, Dennis Murray, Ralph J. DiClemente, James M. Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Influenza remains a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Vaccinating school-aged children has been demonstrated to be beneficial to the child and in reducing viral transmission to vulnerable groups such as the elderly. This qualitative study sought to identify reasons parents and students participated in a school-based influenza vaccination clinic and to characterize the decision- making process for vaccination. Eight focus groups were conducted with parents and students. Parents and students who participated in the influenza vaccination clinic stated the educational brochure mailed to their home influenced participation in the program. Parents of non-participating students mentioned barriers, such as the lengthy and complicated consent process and suspicions about the vaccine clinic, as contributing to their decision not to vaccinate their child. Vaccinated students reported initiating influenza vaccine discussion with their parents. Parental attitudes and the educational material influenced parents' decision to allow their child to receive influenza vaccine. This novel study explored reasons for participating in a school-based vaccination clinic and the decision-making process between parents and child(ren). Persons running future school-based vaccination clinics may consider hosting an 'information session with a question and answer session' to address parental concerns and assist with the consent process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)663-672
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Education Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2013


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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