Are Recent Medical Graduates More Skeptical of Vaccines?

Published online

Journal Article

Rates of delay and refusal of recommended childhood vaccines are increasing in many U.S. communities. Children's health care providers have a strong influence on parents' knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about vaccines. Provider attitudes towards immunizations vary and affect their immunization advocacy. One factor that may contribute to this variability is their familiarity with vaccine-preventable diseases and their sequelae. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association of health care provider year of graduation with vaccines and vaccine-preventable disease beliefs. We conducted a cross sectional survey in 2005 of primary care providers identified by parents of children whose children were fully vaccinated or exempt from one or more school immunization requirements. We examined the association of provider graduation cohort (5 years) with beliefs on immunization, disease susceptibility, disease severity, vaccine safety, and vaccine efficacy. Surveys were completed by 551 providers (84.3% response rate). More recent health care provider graduates had 15% decreased odds of believing vaccines are efficacious compared to graduates from a previous 5 year period; had lower odds of believing that many commonly used childhood vaccines were safe; and 3.7% of recent graduates believed that immunizations do more harm than good. Recent health care provider graduates have a perception of the risk-benefit balance of immunization, which differs from that of their older counterparts. This change has the potential to be reflected in their immunization advocacy and affect parental attitudes.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Mergler, MJ; Omer, SB; Pan, WKY; Navar-Boggan, AM; Orenstein, W; Marcuse, EK; Taylor, J; deHart, MP; Carter, TC; Damico, A; Halsey, N; Salmon, DA

Published Date

  • April 29, 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 1 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 154 - 166

PubMed ID

  • 26343964

Pubmed Central ID

  • 26343964

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2076-393X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3390/vaccines1020154

Language

  • eng

Conference Location

  • Switzerland