Acceptability of universal hepatitis B vaccination among school pupils and parents

Commun Dis Public Health. 2004 Dec;7(4):278-82.


The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends universal hepatitis B (hepB) vaccination for all countries, but this policy has not been adopted in the UK and its acceptability there is unknown. We investigated the attitudes of secondary one (S1) school pupils aged 12-13 years (n = 50) and parents (n = 39) using semi-structured focus group discussions. There was a lack of awareness of hepB among most participants prior to the study. Parents sought further information, including the risks of infection and vaccine side effects. No participants identified cultural or socioeconomic barriers to being vaccinated against hepB. The majority of pupils and nearly all parents were in favour of universal hepB vaccination. Offering hepB vaccination to all S1 pupils, in school, should therefore be highly acceptable, providing that sufficient information on the risk of hepB infection and vaccine safety is provided. A facility for answering questions and a forum for pupil education should also be offered.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Education
  • Hepatitis B / prevention & control*
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Immunization Programs / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Mass Vaccination
  • Parents
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Scotland
  • Vaccination*
  • World Health Organization


  • Hepatitis B Vaccines