Parental views on the introduction of an infant pneumococcal vaccine.
Chantler T., Newton S., Lees A., Diggle L., Mayon-White R., Pollard AJ., Fitzpatrick R.
Streptococcus pneumoniae is a major cause of early childhood morbidity and mortality. A heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PnC7) is licensed for use and could prevent the majority of infant invasive pneumococcal infections. A recent announcement confirmed its inclusion into the U.K. childhood immunisation programme. In anticipation of PnC7 being recommended for use, this study explored parental understanding of pneumococcal disease and their views on the possible introduction of this vaccine. Twenty three interviews and two focus groups were held with parents of children under two years of age. Four main themes emerged from the data analysis: 'Confidence and belief in immunisation'; 'Anxiety about immunisation'; 'Trust and understanding of immunisation information' and 'Response to a new immunisation'. Overall parental confidence in immunisation has been affected by the MMR controversy. With little knowledge of pneumococcal disease, parents want information about the safety and effectiveness of PnC7. Information needs to be conveyed in a way that restores parents' trust in immunisation.