"Nature Does Things Well, Why Should We Interfere?": Vaccine Hesitancy Among Mothers

Qual Health Res. 2016 Feb;26(3):411-25. doi: 10.1177/1049732315573207. Epub 2015 Feb 23.


Parents' decision to use vaccination services is complex and multi-factorial. Of particular interest are "vaccine-hesitant" parents who are in the middle of the continuum between vaccine acceptance and refusal. The objective of this qualitative longitudinal study was to better understand why mothers choose to vaccinate-or not-their newborns. Fifty-six pregnant mothers living in different areas of Quebec (Canada) were interviewed. These interviews gathered information on mothers' views about health and vaccination. Almost half of the mothers were categorized as vaccine-hesitant. A second interview was conducted with these mothers 3 to 11 months after birth to look at their actual decision and behavior concerning vaccination. Our results show the heterogeneity of factors influencing vaccine decision making. Although the majority of vaccine-hesitant mothers finally chose to follow the recommended vaccine schedule for their child, they were still ambivalent and they continued to question their decision.

Keywords: decision making; immunization; interviews; longitudinal studies; mothers, mothering.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Decision Making*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Middle Aged
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Quebec
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vaccination / psychology*
  • Young Adult