Survey finds positive attitudes to vaccination amongst Welsh teens and their parents

Over 90 per cent of Welsh teens and parents surveyed trust vaccines and believe that they work.

A new report examines the findings from the Attitudes to Adolescent Vaccination 2019 survey undertaken by BMG Research on behalf of Public Health Wales. The purpose of this survey was to gain a better understanding of the awareness that teenagers aged 13 to 15 and their parents have about vaccines and vaccine preventable diseases, as well as exploring attitudes to adolescent immunisation.

Over 300 interviews were conducted—split between parents and teenagers. The results confirmed the important role of health professionals in providing immunisation advice. Over 90 per cent of both parents and young people trust immunisation advice provided by health professionals and the NHS. Social media was the least trusted source of immunisation information.

Some of the report’s key findings were:
•    95 per cent of parents and 90 per cent of teenagers believe vaccines work.
•    93 per cent of teenagers state it is important to get vaccinated.
•    91 per cent of parents and 90 per cent of teenagers trust vaccines. 
•    90 per cent of parents and 87 per cent of teenagers believe that vaccines are safe.
•    77 per cent of parents and 69 per cent of teenagers believe that all vaccinations represent a lower risk than the associated disease.

In addition, 97 per cent of parents and 91 per cent of teenagers say they never disagreed on receiving any vaccine, and only 7 per cent of parents and teenagers recall coming across anything that would make them concerned about having a vaccination. Over eight in 10 teenagers who were offered a vaccine were happy with the process and felt they had enough information to understand why the vaccination was offered.

Anne McGowan, Nurse Consultant in the Vaccine Preventable Disease Programme in Public Health Wales, said: “The report is very positive news, finding high levels of confidence around vaccination. It shows that the vast majority of Welsh parents and teenagers really understand the importance of vaccines in stopping the spread of preventable diseases.”

Some of the report’s recommendations include continuing to communicate the benefits of the vaccines and informing teenagers about the processes involved. For teenagers, schools were found to be a key information channel with over 50 percent of teenagers recalling being taught something about vaccinations in school. 

Teenager girls were more likely to recall coming across information about vaccinations, and it was recommended that more work may be needed to better engage with teenage boys. The report data also supports the continued use of high quality and accessible print materials.

Ultimately the representative survey provides a greater understanding of the awareness that teenagers and their parents have about vaccines, and shows that that the vast majority of parents and teenagers have confidence in the important role of vaccination in preventing serious diseases. 
The full report can be accessed via the link  below:

Report