Limited awareness of vaccines recommended for adolescents and other results from two national consumer health surveys in the United States

J Adolesc Health. 2012 Feb;50(2):198-200. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2011.04.017. Epub 2011 Jun 15.


Purpose: This study describes the vaccine-related knowledge and attitudes of adolescents aged 11-18 years and parents of adolescents aged 11-18 years.

Methods: We analyzed the 2007 HealthStyles and YouthStyles surveys related to vaccine knowledge and attitudes of parents (n = 1,208) and adolescents (n = 1,087).

Results: In all, 21% of parents and 11% of adolescents correctly identified the three vaccines recommended at the time of the survey for adolescents. Regarding the hypothetical scenario that minor adolescents should be allowed to consent to vaccination without parental knowledge, 70% of parents and 72% of adolescents disagreed. The majority of parents and adolescents recognized the importance of vaccines in protecting an adolescent's health yet a substantial minority of both groups also reported concerns about vaccine safety.

Conclusions: Many parents and adolescents surveyed were not aware of all vaccine recommendations for adolescents and did not support adolescents receiving vaccinations independent of parental knowledge and/or consent.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parents / psychology*
  • United States
  • Vaccines*
  • Young Adult


  • Vaccines