Needle fears are a documented barrier to immunization in children and adults. There is a paucity of data, however, regarding the prevalence of needle fears and their impact on immunization compliance. In this cross-sectional survey, a convenience sample of parents (n=883) and children (n=1024) attending a public museum in Toronto, Canada answered questions about needle fears and non-compliance with immunization due to needle fear. Altogether, 24% of parents and 63% of children reported a fear of needles. Needle fear was the primary reason for immunization non-compliance for 7% and 8% of parents and children, respectively. Interventions aimed at improving education about, and access to, analgesic interventions during immunization injections performed in childhood are recommended in order to prevent the development of needle fears and vaccine non-compliance.
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