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Advances in Preventive Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 932741, 8 pages
Research Article

Parents’ Source of Vaccine Information and Impact on Vaccine Attitudes, Beliefs, and Nonmedical Exemptions

1Hubert Department of Global Health, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, 1518 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
2Hubert Department of Global Health, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health and Emory Vaccine Center, 1518 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
3Department of International Health, Institute for Vaccine Safety, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA

Received 13 July 2012; Revised 5 September 2012; Accepted 7 September 2012

Academic Editor: John Iskander

Copyright © 2012 Abbey M. Jones et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In recent years, use of the Internet to obtain vaccine information has increased. Historical data are necessary to evaluate current vaccine information seeking trends in context. Between 2002 and 2003, surveys were mailed to 1,630 parents of fully vaccinated children and 815 parents of children with at least one vaccine exemption; 56.1% responded. Respondents were asked about their vaccine information sources, perceptions of these sources accuracy, and their beliefs about vaccination. Parents who did not view their child’s healthcare provider as a reliable vaccine information source were more likely to obtain vaccine information using the Internet. Parents who were younger, more highly educated, and opposed to school immunization requirements were more likely than their counterparts to use the Internet for vaccine information. Compared to parents who did not use the Internet for vaccine information, those who sought vaccine information on the Internet were more likely to have lower perceptions of vaccine safety (adjusted odds ratio (aOR), 1.66; 95% CI, 1.18–2.35), vaccine effectiveness (aOR, 1.83; 95% CI, 1.32–2.53), and disease susceptibility (aOR, 2.08; 95% CI, 1.49–2.90) and were more likely to have a child with a nonmedical exemption (aOR 3.53, 95% CI, 2.61–4.76). These findings provide context to interpret recent vaccine information seeking research.