Knowledge and attitudes towards vaccines and immunization among adolescents in South Africa

Hum Vaccin. 2010 Jun;6(6):455-61. doi: 10.4161/hv.6.6.11660. Epub 2010 Jun 1.


Despite evidence showing their benefits, routine adolescent immunization programmes are still lacking across Africa. In 2008 we conducted a qualitative study of adolescents' knowledge and attitudes towards immunization in a peri-urban community in South Africa. Results show that while vaccination as a concept is acceptable amongst adolescents, low levels of knowledge about vaccines, the process of being vaccinated, as well as unfamiliarity with the concept of preventative medicine in general will likely hinder achieving high and equitable routine adolescent immunization coverage. Effective educational programs and integrated adolescent healthcare strategies will be critical to delivering successful immunization services to this group.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • South Africa
  • Vaccination*
  • Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Vulnerable Populations*


  • Vaccines