Factors contributing to suboptimal rates of childhood vaccinations in Vermont

Catherine A. Kelley, Cristine S. Velazco, Thomas V. Delaney, Adam Bensimhon, Kuang Ning Huang, Paul R. Jarvis, Jonathan S. Jolin, Kurt B. Schaberg, Marianne Burke, Christine Finley, Jan K. Carney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Childhood immunizations are invaluable in preventing contagious diseases. Nonetheless, vaccines have become increasingly controversial with growing numbers of caregivers refusing to vaccinate their children. The percentage of fully vaccinated children in Vermont is one of the lowest nationally. This study set out to determine Vermont caregivers’ attitudes toward immunizations to better explain why the percentage of fully vaccinated children has fallen in Vermont. A survey regarding caregivers’ health care knowledge about children, their vaccination concerns, and their children’s vaccination status was sent to participants in the Vermont Women, Infants and Children’s Program from two districts. In total, 83% (n = 379) of respondents reported their children received all recommended vaccinations for their age. Respondents who considered themselves highly knowledgeable regarding their children’s health care and confident about the safety of vaccinations were significantly associated with reporting their children as being current on vaccinations and with their intent to continue vaccinations. Respondents indicated highest concern regarding the safety and number of vaccinations administered during one visit. Primary care providers were indicated as important resources for addressing concerns about vaccinations and health care knowledge of children. The results help to understand low vaccination rates in Vermont and can be used for targeting health campaigns to improve vaccination rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)558-568
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Child Health Care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Childhood immunizations
  • immunizations
  • vaccinations
  • vaccine safety concerns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pediatrics


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