Family physician perspectives on barriers to childhood immunisation

Vaccine. 2004 Jun 2;22(17-18):2340-4. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2003.10.037.


New Zealand (NZ) has inadequate vaccine coverage and associated disease outbreaks. International research illustrates the importance of provider behaviour in improving vaccine uptake. To understand the immunisation knowledge, views, concerns and educational needs of NZ family physicians, qualitative and quantitative national data was gathered from randomised telephone surveys. Response rate was 60% with respondents' characteristics closely matched to key demographics of NZ family physicians. The most significant barrier to improving immunisation rates identified was parental concern over vaccine safety and associated misconceptions. The second major barrier identified was lack of funding to health providers. A clear need for improvement in family physician knowledge of contraindications to vaccines was highlighted. Family physicians expressed a need for better resources to more effectively address parental fears and misconceptions. Strategies to address these issues include an increased focus on family physician educational needs, extra resources to assist with more effective communication to parents and a review of the present funding of providers for immunisation services.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Clinical Competence
  • Communicable Disease Control / economics
  • Communicable Disease Control / statistics & numerical data
  • Family Practice*
  • Health Care Surveys*
  • Humans
  • New Zealand
  • Parental Consent
  • Parents / psychology
  • Vaccination*