Aim: To investigate parents' views regarding potential new vaccines. We examined attitudes towards severity of specific infections, acceptability of potential vaccines and preferences for the number of injections they would want their child to receive on any one occasion.
Design: Cross sectional survey.
Methods: Parents of children aged 18-24 months in three Primary Care Trusts in England were asked to complete a questionnaire.
Results: Of the 859 parents who responded (38%), over 90% believed that the vaccines currently on offer prevent disease always or almost always. Of those who rated meningitis as serious or very serious, 84% would accept a vaccine against meningococcal group B infection and 69% against pneumococcal infection. Only 34% of those who said their child would make a full recovery from chicken pox would accept a vaccine. Over half the respondents preferred new vaccines to be given separately. Fifty seven percent of parents would not want their child to have more than two injections per clinic visit.
Conclusions: Parents' views on the severity of illness influence their acceptance of a new vaccine. Their preference for as few injections as possible at a single clinic visit needs to be reconciled with their concerns over the use of combination vaccines.