Childhood Vaccine Acceptance and Refusal among Warao Amerindian Caregivers in Venezuela; A Qualitative Approach
SourcePLoS One, 12, 1, (2017), article e0170227
Article / Letter to editor
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Paediatrics - OUD tm 2017
SubjectRadboudumc 4: lnfectious Diseases and Global Health RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences
OBJECTIVES: Acceptance of childhood vaccination varies between societies, affecting worldwide vaccination coverage. Low coverage rates are common in indigenous populations where parents often choose not to vaccinate their children. We aimed to gain insight into reasons for vaccine acceptance or rejection among Warao Amerindians in Venezuela. METHODS: Based on records of vaccine acceptance or refusal, in-depth interviews with 20 vaccine-accepting and 11 vaccine-declining caregivers were performed. Parents' attitudes were explored using a qualitative approach. RESULTS: Although Warao caregivers were generally in favor of vaccination, fear of side effects and the idea that young and sick children are too vulnerable to be vaccinated negatively affected vaccine acceptance. The importance assigned to side effects was related to the perception that these resembled symptoms/diseases of another origin and could thus harm the child. Religious beliefs or traditional healers did not influence the decision-making process. CONCLUSIONS: Parental vaccine acceptance requires educational programs on the preventive nature of vaccines in relation to local beliefs about health and disease. Attention needs to be directed at population-specific concerns, including explanation on the nature of and therapeutic options for side effects.
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