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A survey of children's preferences for influenza vaccine attributes

Flood, Emuella M., Ryan, Kellie J., Rousculp, Matthew D., Beusterien, Kathleen M., Block, Stan L., Hall, Matthew C., Mahadevia, Parthiv J.
Vaccine 2011 v.29 no.26 pp. 4334-4340
adverse effects, attitudes and opinions, children, gender, influenza, intramuscular injection, nose, surveys, vaccination, vaccines, United States
BACKGROUND: While annual influenza vaccination is recommended by the CDC for children 6 months and older, vaccination rates remain suboptimal. For healthy, US children 2 years of age and older, influenza vaccine is available as an intramuscular injection (TIV) or an intranasal spray (LAIV), respectively. Little is known about children's experiences and preferences for influenza vaccine attributes. OBJECTIVE: To examine preferences for influenza vaccine attributes and their relative importance among children. METHODS: A quantitative web-survey was administered to children aged 8–12 years sampled from a standing online panel representative of the US population. Children were stratified by age, gender and parent's influenza vaccination behavior. The survey included questions to ascertain children's preferences for influenza vaccine attributes, including efficacy, chance of common side effects, and mode of administration. It included conjoint (trade-off) questions in which children traded-off different attributes in their choice between two influenza vaccines with differing features. We also surveyed children's comprehension of and ability to complete the conjoint questions. RESULTS: 544 children completed the survey (response rate 37%). Children most frequently selected efficacy as the most important vaccine attribute followed by mode of administration (45% and 31%, respectively). When asked for their preference to receive influenza vaccine as a “shot” or a “nose spray”, the majority (69%) preferred the nose spray. An evaluation of children's ability to complete the conjoint survey demonstrated that 85% of the sample was able to complete the conjoint tasks. Analysis of the conjoint responses demonstrated that mode of administration and efficacy had the greatest impact on preferences, with a relative importance of 40.5% and 30.6%, respectively. In a direct comparison of vaccine profiles representing the efficacy, side effects, and other characteristics of LAIV and TIV, 79% of children preferred the LAIV-like profile. CONCLUSION: Children in the sample had consistent opinions regarding influenza vaccine attributes and consider vaccine efficacy and mode of administration to be important. Children can be informed participants in influenza prevention and can be included in discussions regarding influenza vaccination.