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School-located immunization programs (SLIP) will only be successful if parents consent to their children's participation. It is critical to understand parent perspectives regarding the factors that make them more or less likely to provide that consent. Organizations creating SLIPs will be able to capitalize on the aspects of SLIPs that parents appreciate, and address and correct issues that may give rise to parent concerns. This study involved five focus groups among the parents of school students in a large, urban school district. Findings highlight the broad range of concepts important to parents when considering participation in a SLIP. The safety and trust issues regarding vaccines in general that are so important to parents are also important to parents when considering participation in a SLIP. Effective communication strategies that include assurances regarding tracking of information and the competence and experience of immunizers will be helpful when addressing parents regarding SLIPs. In addition, parents were very cognizant of and positive regarding the public health benefits associated with SLIPs. Further study among larger populations of parents will further refine these ideas and aid in the development of successful influenza vaccine SLIPs that directly address and communicate with parents about the issues most important to them.

Citation

Amy B Middleman, Mary B Short, Jean S Doak. Focusing on flu: Parent perspectives on school-located immunization programs for influenza vaccine. Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics. 2012 Oct;8(10):1395-400

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PMID: 23095868

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