Parental and community acceptance of the benefits and risks associated with meningococcal B vaccines

Helen Marshall, Michelle Clarke, Thomas Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: A new meningococcal serogroup B (Men B) vaccine has been licensed in the European Union (EU) and Australia. This study aimed to assess community and parental attitudes to introduction of new Men B vaccines and identify facilitators and barriers to vaccine implementation. Methods: Cross-sectional survey including face-to-face interviews with adolescents, parents and adults from randomly selected households in South Australia in 2012. Survey data were weighted to the age, gender and geographical area profile of the population. Results: 3055 interviews were conducted with individuals aged 15-97 years, including 966 parents. Participation rate was 66.4%. 82.5% (95% CI 79.7-85.4) of parents (797/966) wanted their child to receive the Men B vaccine, with 12.2% (9.7-14.7) (118/966) unsure. Main parental concerns included potential side effects (41.3% (26.7-46.0)) and adequate vaccine testing (11.7% (9.4-14.1)). Potential for an extra injection at an immunisation visit resulted in 15.7% (12.8-18.5) of parents (n= 152/966) less likely to have their child immunised. Potential redness/swelling at the injection site or mild/moderate fever resulted in only 8.5% (6.3-10.7) and 10.8% (8.5-13.2) of parents, respectively, less likely to have their child immunised. Children being up to date with vaccinations and recommendation from family physician were the strongest independent predictors of parents agreeing their children should be immunised with Men B vaccine (OR = 6.58; p= 0.006 and OR. = 4.15; p<. 0.001, respectively). Only 16.4% (14.9-17.9) of adults (501/3055) stated that they would not want to receive a Men B vaccine, with family physician recommendation the strongest independent predictor of acceptance (OR. = 3.81; p<. 0.001). Conclusions: There is strong community support for introduction of Men B vaccines, with parental willingness to have children immunised, impacted more by number of injections than potential for adverse events such as local reactions or fever.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-344
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 9 Jan 2014


  • Adolescents
  • Adverse events
  • Immunisation policy
  • Meningococcal B
  • Parental attitudes
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • veterinary(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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