By: Parrella, Adriana ; Gold, Michael ; Marshall, Helen
A study published in Vaccine looks at the relationship between children’s perceived adverse events following immunization (AEFI) on parental perceptions of vaccine safety and risk. Researchers from the University of Adelaide, Australia, conducted computer-assisted telephone interviews with 469 parents in South Australia, and found that 95 percent of respondents were confident about vaccine safety in general but 50 percent were concerned about pre-licensure testing of vaccines. AEFIs were reported by 41 percent of parents, nearly 33 percent of whom reported symptoms to a healthcare provider or the Department of Health. These parents were more concerned about vaccine safety and likely expected a mild or serious AEFI. Parents with higher education levels were more confident about vaccine safety, and mothers were less accepting of the risks of febrile convulsion and anaphylaxis than fathers. The researchers concluded that parents understanding the difference between an expected event and an adverse event could impact risk communication and AEFI reporting.