High overall confidence in childhood vaccination in Norway, slightly lower among the unemployed and those with a lower level of education

Vaccine. 2020 Jun 15;38(29):4536-4541. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2020.05.011. Epub 2020 May 21.

Abstract

In Norway, childhood immunisation is offered on voluntary basis, free of charge and is delivered through trained nurses at > 650 child health centres and school health services. Maintaining high confidence in the vaccination programme is key to sustaining high vaccine uptake. We aimed to investigate confidence in childhood vaccination in the general population and to identify determinants for lower confidence. In 2017 and 2018, Statistics Norway asked questions on confidence in childhood vaccination (to all respondents) and children's vaccination history (to parents) in their routine cross-sectional survey. Respondents reported their level of agreement on a five-point Likert scale. Using a weighted analysis we calculated proportions agreeing [95% confidence interval] by respondent characteristics. Overall, 2169 individuals participated (54% response). 95.8% [94.8-96.7] answered that vaccination is important, 93.4% [92.2-94.4] thought that vaccines are safe, 96.0% [95.0-96.8] thought that vaccines are effective and for 93.4% [92.2-94.4] vaccination was compatible with their basic values. Those with lower level of education expressed lower confidence in vaccination due to conflict with their basic values (88.2% [84.7-91.0] answered positively). Those unemployed expressed lower confidence due to conflict with their basic values (81.9% [71.8-88.9]) and because of concerns about vaccines' safety (83.5% [73.7-90.1]). 96.3% [94.3-97.6] of parents (n = 580) had their children fully vaccinated, despite that one fifth answered that they at least once have had doubts on whether or not to vaccinate their children. There is high confidence in childhood vaccination in Norway. Those with a lower level of education and the unemployed reported comparatively lower confidence. To maintain high confidence in childhood vaccination, we recommend maintaining the well-informed system with easily accessible vaccinations. Furthermore, we recommend maintaining surveillance of vaccine confidence, supplemented with targeted studies on subgroups who are less confident, express doubts and/or oppose vaccination. Those studies should inform communication strategies tailored to subgroups.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Educational Status
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Immunization Programs*
  • Norway
  • Parents
  • Vaccination*