What do parents think? Knowledge and awareness about newer vaccines: a cross-sectional study in South Indian city

Shalini Akunuri, Anjul Dayal


Background:One of the most cost-effective health interventions is immunization. Parental awareness regarding vaccines influences the immunization rate to a great extent. This study evaluates the awareness regarding newer vaccines among parents, to understand their perception towards immunization, to determine the association of their knowledge with selected demographic variables and to identify solutions to address the knowledge gap.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted at Lotus Children’s Hospital, Hyderabad, India from June 2013-June 2014. Immunization knowledge and attitude among 550 parents was evaluated through a questionnaire.

Results:Eighty percent of the parents were unaware that there are few vaccines which are in the recommended immunization calendar, but are not administered as per national program. Most of the parents are unaware of the newer vaccines being available and the disease prevented by them. Parents have misconceptions regarding vaccine efficacy, side effects, safety profile. Doctors were the main source of information (55%) and mass media (television, radio, newspaper) was underutilized. Level of knowledge directly correlated with maternal literacy (P ≤ 0.05) and to a lesser extent with fathers’ literacy and advancing age was associated with better knowledge (P ≤ 0.05).   

Conclusions:There is limited knowledge among parents regarding newer vaccines. Every opportunity of contact with the parents should be utilized by the doctors for imparting health education. It is prudent to target young parents and especially mothers. Vaccine awareness should be enhanced through the use of mass media. Government must include these newer vaccines in the national immunization program in a phase wise manner.  


Immunization, Knowledge and perception, Newer vaccines, Parental education

Full Text:



India. National Vaccine Policy. Ministry Of Health And Family Welfare; April 2011.Available at Accessed on 12 July 2012.

Inamdar M, Piparsania S, Inamdar S, Singh K. Exploring the causes of low immunisation status in school going children. Online J Health Allied Sci. 2011;10(4):3.

Angelillo IF, Ricciardi G, Rossi P, Pantisano P, Langiano E, Pavia M. Mothers and vaccination: knowledge, attitudes and behavior in Italy. Bull World Health Organ. 1999;77(3):224-9.

Mony P, Bose A, Dutta AK, Rose JS, Harikrishan B, Alvi A et al. Awareness, utilization and cost of newer childhood vaccines in a lower middle and middle class urban population of Vellore town, South India. Indian Pediatr. 1999;36:954-5.

Mapatano MA, Kayembe K, Piripiri L, Nyandwe K. Immunisation-related knowledge, attitudes and practices of mothers in Kinshasa, democratic republic of the Congo. SA Fam Pract. 2008;50:61-6.

Tang CW, Huang SH, Weng KP, Ger LP, Hsieh KS. Parents’ views about the vaccination program in Taiwan. Pediatr Neonatal. 2011;52(2):98-102.

Survey of parents on key issues related to immunization. Available at http:// resources. / Accessed on 2 June 2016.

Bakhache P, Rodrigo C, Davie S, Ahuja A, Sudovar B, Crudup T et al. Health care providers’ and parents’ attitudes toward administration of new infant vaccines - a multinational survey. Eur J Pediatr. 2013;172(4):485-92.

Coniglio MA, Platania M, Privitera D, Giammanco G, Pignato S. Parents' attitudes and behaviours towards recommended vaccinations in Sicily, Italy. BMC Public Health. 2011;11:305.

UNICEF. Formative research on perceptions, attitudes and practices towards immunisation and introduction of new vaccines in Armenia: a qualitative study. Armenia; 2012.

Madhivanan P, Krupp K, Yashodha M, Marlow L, Klausner J, Reingold A. Attitudes toward HPV vaccination among parents of adolescent girls in Mysore, India. Vaccine 2009;27(38):5203-8.

Patra N. A probe into the ways to stimulate childhood immunisation in India: findings from National family health survey: III. Int J Child Adolescent Health. 2012;5(1):65-84.

Zahrani JA. Knowledge, attitude and practice of parents towards childhood vaccination. Majmaah J Health Sci. 2013;1(1):29-38.

Alsaad MA, Shamsuddin K, Fadzil F. Knowledge towards HPV infection and HPV vaccines among Syrian mothers. Asian Pacific J Cancer Prev. 2012;13:879-83.

Garrido CP, Miguel AG, Barrera VH, Jiménez-Garcìa R. Knowledge of Spanish parents about their children's vaccination during the decade 1993-2003. Hum Vaccin. 2007;3:212-6.