Background: Global vaccination is one of the greatest achievements in medicine, which resulted in the decrease of life-threatening illnesses. However, over the past decade, the number of people who doubt the benefits of vaccination has increased.
Objective: To evaluate the opinion about vaccines of parents raising pre-school children and how different sources of information shape that opinion.
Methods: A questionnaire survey was conducted in Vilnius kindergartens in the period from December 2017 to May 2018. 329 parents of children aged from 1 to 4 participated in the survey. The respondents were compared by gender, education level and primary care provider (paediatrician vs family doctor). The data are processed by SPSS 22.0 program, the difference between the compared groups is considered significant when p≤0.05.
Results: Parents who at least once have visited homeopath value vaccines benefit 6.33 out of 10 points. However, parents who did not apply to homeopaths tend to evaluate the benefits of the vaccine more favorably (8.25 out of 10 points, p≤0.05).
Majority of respondents have received negative information about vaccination. 229 parents at least once have found negative information on the internet, but tend to rate benefits of vaccines quite well: 8.24 out of 10 points. Furthermore, 17.3 perc. respondents, who at least once received negative information about vaccination from health care specialists, tend to evaluate vaccinations worse: 6.40 out of 10 points. More than 20 perc. of parents are reported at least one episode of negative information about vaccines received during visite of health care specialist.
Conclusions: The greatest impact on parents` vaccines related negativism is done by healthcare specialists, but not internet or other mass media. Future research is needed due to necessity of deeper analysis of primary sources and ways of spreading of vaccines related information in the families of preschool children.