Child immunisation: parents’ vote of confidence in the information nurses give them

Healthcare professionals’ vaccine advice is trusted most – and social media least

Healthcare professionals’ vaccine advice is trusted most – and social media least

Picture: iStock

Nurses and other health professionals are the most trusted source of child immunisation advice for parents, a survey reveals.    

A poll of 1,674 parents by Public Health England found that 93% had confidence in the information on vaccinations provided by healthcare professionals. The least trusted sources were the internet, social media and Facebook. 

‘Testament to nurses’ hard work’

Public Health England chief executive Duncan Selbie said: ‘It’s testament to our hard-working doctors and nurses that families trust them to provide accurate facts about the effectiveness of vaccines.

Duncan Selbie of Public Health England.
Picture: Tim George 

'They’re our vaccine heroes and we all have a role in supporting them.’

Almost one in 10 parents (9%) said they had seen information in the past year that made them question whether to vaccinate their child, the survey found. In contrast, 33% of parents in 2002 said information worried them. This was in the immediate aftermath of the MMR jab scare in which false allegations were made about the vaccine’s safety.

Challenging misinformation

Helen Donovan, RCN public health lead

RCN professional lead for public health, Helen Donovan said: ‘Parents and public wanting advice and information is normal and it is important they are able to access the advice of healthcare professionals to ensure they are properly informed and are able to challenge misinformation.

‘This is vital to reverse the decline in vaccination uptake and ensure people recognise the protection it offers.

‘It’s reassuring that trust in nurses as a source of reliable information on vaccines remains high and that parents can feel confident in seeking advice from them on vaccinations.’

In other news

This is a free article for registered users

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this? You can register for free access.