Interpersonal and community influences affecting childhood vaccination decision-making among Nigerian caregivers: Perceptions among frontline workers in Nigeria

J Child Health Care. 2019 Sep;23(3):403-414. doi: 10.1177/1367493519852457. Epub 2019 May 23.


Although routine immunization has contributed to a substantial reduction in mortality from vaccine-preventable diseases globally, vaccine-preventable diseases are attributable for 22% of childhood deaths in Nigeria. Individual and structural level factors that influence vaccination uptake in Nigeria have been well documented. However, there is limited information about the role of interpersonal and community level factors. Frontline workers play a crucial role in delivering life-saving vaccines in Nigeria, as they are tasked with ensuring that all children are vaccinated, within the health system as well as traveling to underserved areas, where health systems are not able to reach. This qualitative study conducted focus groups to examine frontline workers' perceptions of influences affecting caregivers' vaccine-related decision-making. Community- and facility-based frontline workers (n = 47) identified village and community chiefs, as well as religious leaders as influential within the context of immunization uptake because of their trusted role within communities. Male partners and husbands were identified as also holding an enormous level of influence over childhood vaccination, and the credibility of frontline workers influenced vaccination coverage. Immunization programs should target not only caregivers but also key influencers-such as interpersonal and community sources-to make progress in reaching vaccination coverage goals.

Keywords: Community; Nigeria; frontline workers; interpersonal; vaccination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Child Mortality / trends
  • Child, Preschool
  • Community Health Workers / psychology*
  • Decision Making*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Immunization Schedule
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Nigeria
  • Qualitative Research
  • Religion and Medicine
  • Trust*
  • Vaccination / psychology*