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Health professionals most trusted on immunisation advice

High childhood immunisation uptake in England.
Childhood immunisation

The childhood immunisation programme in England has high uptake rates (>95% in early years, 90% pre-school boosters), but it is important in order to understand parents views to maintain and further improve uptake.

This national survey of parental attitudes was undertaken in 2015 and the results compared with previous surveys.

Home interviews of 1,792 parents with children under four were used in 275 locations, using door-to-door market research methods. A total of 90% of parents reported vaccinating their children automatically when due, with only 2% of parents refusing vaccination. This acceptance is at the highest level in more than a decade. A total of 97% of parents used the internet for information on vaccination; an increase over the past decade.

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The childhood immunisation programme in England has high uptake rates (>95% in early years, 90% pre-school boosters), but it is important in order to understand parents’ views to maintain and further improve uptake.


A 2015 national survey of parental attitudes in England found that 90% of parents
reported vaccinating their children automatically when due. Picture: iStock

This national survey of parental attitudes was undertaken in 2015 and the results compared with previous surveys.

Home interviews of 1,792 parents with children under four were used in 275 locations, using door-to-door market research methods. A total of 90% of parents reported vaccinating their children automatically when due, with only 2% of parents refusing vaccination. This acceptance is at the highest level in more than a decade. A total of 97% of parents used the internet for information on vaccination; an increase over the past decade.

Those parents who used chat rooms were significantly more likely to say they had read something that made them hesitate about immunisations (31% compared to 8% non-users). The majority (90%) agreed that health professionals (GP, health visitor and practice nurse) and the NHS were the most trusted source of advice on immunisation, with only 7% not agreeing. 

This trusted advice was a key factor in parental decisions to immunise their children, emphasising the important role health professionals have in increasing uptake rates.


Campbell H, Edwards A, Letley L et al (2017) Changing attitudes to childhood immunisation in English parents. Vaccine. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2017.03.089

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