Study Reveals Fear of Side Effects as Main Reason for Vaccine Hesitancy Among Bulgarian Parents

Society » HEALTH | April 23, 2024, Tuesday // 17:02
Bulgaria: Study Reveals Fear of Side Effects as Main Reason for Vaccine Hesitancy Among Bulgarian Parents

A recent study conducted by the sociological agency "Global Metrics" on behalf of UNICEF Bulgaria and the Ministry of Health sheds light on the attitudes of Bulgarian parents towards vaccination. The findings reveal that the fear of side effects is the primary factor driving some parents to refuse vaccination for their children.

According to the study, over half of parents in Bulgaria express support for mandatory vaccines, while less than 10% oppose the idea of mandatory vaccination altogether. The research, which included a quantitative survey among parents of children up to 4 years of age, identified various attitudes towards vaccination among different groups of parents.

Among the key findings is the identification of four distinct groups of parents based on their attitudes towards the immunization calendar:

  • Approximately 61% of parents support mandatory vaccines and would administer all or additional vaccines.
  • Nearly 4% believe that more vaccines should be added to the immunization calendar.
  • About 13% advocate for greater freedom of choice, suggesting that some mandatory vaccines should be reduced.
  • Around 8% oppose the idea of mandatory vaccination entirely.

The study highlights the pervasive fear of side effects among parents who choose not to vaccinate their children. Concerns about the quality of vaccines and the presence of harmful ingredients are cited as common worries. While medical professionals also attribute vaccine refusal to belief in misinformation, there are notable differences in the reasons cited by parents and healthcare providers.

Additionally, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on parental attitudes towards vaccination is examined. While the majority of parents maintained their positive attitude towards vaccines, a significant minority experienced a shift in opinion, with about 12% becoming more positive and nearly 7% becoming more negative.

Overall, the study underscores the importance of addressing vaccine hesitancy and misinformation among parents to ensure the effectiveness of vaccination programs. It also highlights the need for targeted efforts to educate and inform parents about the benefits of vaccination in preventing the spread of diseases and protecting public health

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Tags: Bulgaria, vaccination, parents, side effects

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