September 1993

Immunization Status and Reasons for Immunization Delay Among Children Using Public Health Immunization Clinics

Author Affiliations

From Valley Young People's Clinic, PS, Spokane, Wash (Dr Abbotts), and the Department of Pediatrics, University of Utah Health Sciences Center, Salt Lake City (Dr Osborn).

Am J Dis Child. 1993;147(9):965-968. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1993.02160330055018

• Objectives.  —To determine whether children attending our local health department clinics were being immunized in a timely manner, and to investigate the reasons for children not being immunized on schedule.

Design.  —Cross-sectional research design.

Setting.  —Five Salt Lake City/County Health Department immunization clinics in Utah.

Participants.  —All patients presenting to the clinics for immunization from November 1990 to March 1991 when minor illness is prevalent.

Interventions.  —Data were gathered through interview and questionnaire.

Measurements/Main Results.  —Children were mostly white; they came from two-parent households with reasonably high incomes and high parental education level. Only four children were denied vaccination, all for inappropriate timing. None were denied for illness. More than 75% had postponed bringing their children in for immunization. The most common reason given for delay was minor illness in the child.

Conclusion.  —Even in this "low-risk" population, parental misperception regarding immunizations is a significant, contributing factor to low immunization rates. Public educational programs directed at increasing parental knowledge must be developed.(AJDC. 1993;147:965-968)