Background Nasal influenza vaccine is offered each year to all children from age two to higher age groups. There is little UK research on whether parents support this vaccination programme.
Aim The aim of this study was to explore parents’ perceptions of influenza as an illness in children and why they decide to accept or decline nasal influenza vaccine for their child.
Method A survey was first distributed to parents via a single primary school. Ten parents were then sampled in semi-structured interviews. From the survey, 91% (n=78) of the parents favoured routine vaccinations but only 47% (n=40) were supportive of nasal influenza vaccination.
Findings From the interviews, reasons highlighted for accepting or declining the vaccine concerned the importance of trust, community responsibility, controllability and the perception of risk.
Conclusion Parents who typically support vaccination may doubt the necessity of a influenza vaccination for their child. This may reduce uptake and undermine the programme.