International Journal of Pediatrics & Neonatal Care Volume 6 (2020), Article ID 6:IJPNC-169, 5 pages
Original Article
Parental Attitude to Influenza Infection: Willingness for Childhood Vaccination

Yuxin Woon1* and Edina Moylett1,2

1School of Medicine, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
2Academic Department of Paediatrics, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
Dr. Yuxin Woon, Academic Department of Paediatrics, Clinical Science Institute, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland, Tel: +353 83 8889359; E-mail:
20 October 2020; 15 December 2020; 17 December 2020
Woon Y, Moylett E (2020) Parental Attitude to Influenza Infection: Willingness for Childhood Vaccination. Int J Pediatr Neonat Care 6: 169. doi:
This work received support from the School of Medicine Summer Scholarship, sponsored by the National University of Ireland, Galway.


Introduction: As the 2020- 2021 flu season coincides with the currently circulating Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Ireland is introducing free influenza vaccines to children ages 2- 12 this year. This is to minimise the disease and economic burden of influenza to an already- strained hospital system due to the ongoing pandemic. Therefore, it is important to identify factors that may affect vaccine uptake.
Objective: To explore parental knowledge and attitudes towards influenza infection and potential factors affecting willingness to routinely vaccinate their child (ren).
Methods: This descriptive study involved interviewing parents (n= 300) attending the paediatric outpatient department (OPD) at University Hospital Galway. A pilot study assisted with standardizing the questionnaire and in optimizing the clinical catchment area (Emergency Department vs. postnatal ward vs. OPD clinics). Galway Clinical Research Ethics Committee granted the ethical approval and data was analyzed using SPSS.
Results: The majority of respondents were Irish (251, 83.7%), 236 (78.7%) with private health insurance. The commonest age range was 31-40 years (163, 54.3%). Less than 40% had a Bachelor’s degree (113, 37.7%) as their highest education level. Most participants (226, 75.3%) agreed with annual influenza vaccine for their child if recommended.
The following factors were shown to positively affect potential annual influenza vaccine uptake (p<0.05):
Positive general perception towards childhood immunization (217, 96.1%)
Parents who received the influenza vaccine (127, 56.2%)
Mothers who received the influenza vaccine antenatally (81, 42.4%)
Positive childhood immunization experiences (223, 98.7%)
Amongst community supporting influenza vaccination (167, 73.9%)
No concerns about influenza vaccine (200, 88.5%)
High test score for parental knowledge on influenza vaccine (33.6%, N= 76, achieved full marks, mean score = 4.57 ± 1.28).
Conclusion: The overall feedback for routine paediatric influenza vaccination was positive. Parental knowledge, attitudes, prior history of vaccination and social norms each had an independent influence on parents’ willingness to vaccinate their child. A general lack of awareness of paediatric influenza immunization was highlighted and demonstrates the need to improve immunization awareness strategies.