Formal training in vaccine safety to address parental concerns not routinely conducted in U.S. pediatric residency programs

Vaccine. 2014 May 30;32(26):3175-8. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.04.001. Epub 2014 Apr 13.


Objective: To determine if U.S. pediatric residency programs provide formal training in vaccine safety to address parental vaccine concerns.

Methods: An electronic survey was mailed to all members of the Association of Pediatric Program Directors (APPD) to assess (1) if U.S. pediatric residency programs were providing formal vaccine safety training, (2) the content and format of the training if provided, and (3) interest in a training module for programs without training. Two follow-up surveys were mailed at 2 week intervals. Responses to the survey were collected at 4 weeks following the last mailing and analyzed. Logistic regression was used to assess the impact of program size on the likelihood of vaccine safety training. Pearson's chi square was used to compare programs with and without formal vaccine safety training in 5 U.S. regions.

Results: The survey was sent to 199 APPD members; 92 completed the survey (response rate 46.2%). Thirty-eight respondents (41%) had formal training in vaccine safety for pediatric residents at their programs; 54 (59%) did not. Of those that did not, the majority (81.5%) were interested in formal vaccine safety training for their residents. Of all respondents, 78% agreed that training in vaccine safety was a high priority for resident education. Thirty-five percent of all respondents agreed that local parental attitudes about vaccines influenced the likelihood of formal vaccine safety training.

Conclusion: Most pediatric residency programs surveyed do not include formal training on vaccine safety; yet, such training is supported by pediatric residency program directors as a priority for pediatric residents.

Keywords: Resident education; Resident training; Vaccine safety; Vaccines.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Pediatrics / education*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vaccination / psychology*
  • Vaccines* / adverse effects


  • Vaccines