A cross-sectional survey of Italian pediatricians and pediatric residents was carried out between 15 September and 18 October 2008 in order to evaluate their knowledge concerning the administration of vaccines to children with suspected or proved allergies. Of the 750 physicians who accepted to participate (620 pediatricians and 130 residents), 630 (84.0%; 407 females; mean age 43.5 ± 11.2 years) returned completed questionnaires: 268 primary care pediatricians (42.5%), 244 hospital pediatricians (38.8%), and 118 pediatric residents (18.7%). Knowledge concerning the vaccination of children with suspected or proved allergies was far from optimal, with the poorest knowledge being shown by the pediatric residents and no difference between the primary care and hospital pediatricians. Since pediatricians are the main parents' advisors regarding vaccinations, these results indicate an urgent need for educational programmes (especially for residents) and evidence-based guidelines concerning vaccinations in children with suspected or proved allergies.
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