Awareness Is Not Enough: The Need to Increase Meningococcal Vaccine Uptake

1University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.
Clinical Pediatrics (Impact Factor: 1.15). 03/2013; 52(5). DOI: 10.1177/0009922813481847
Source: PubMed


Adolescent meningococcal vaccine uptake remains low. We examined vaccine awareness among parents of adolescents and uptake.

Parents of adolescents aged 11 to 17 years (n = 1281) participated in a statewide survey. Logistic regression with weighted data provided population-based estimates.

In all, 65% had heard of meningococcal vaccine; parents more likely to report awareness had adolescents aged 16 to 17 years, in private school, or with health insurance. In total, 44% of aware parents reported vaccination; vaccinated teens were more likely to be black (odds ratio [OR] = 2.17), had a preventive checkup within 12 months (OR = 3.03), or resided with another child ≤18 years (OR = 1.83). Many parents of unvaccinated adolescents (38.5%) did not plan to vaccinate them within 12 months. The most common reasons for not vaccinating were providers not recommending it and believing adolescents did not need it.

Many parents aware of meningococcal vaccine did not vaccinate their adolescents. Interventions that include increasing provider recommendation and annual visits may increase uptake.

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