Pushed to the Fringe – The Impact of Vaccine Hesitancy on Children and Families

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Vaccine hesitancy has been described as any delay or refusal of vaccines despite their availability and is increasing in Australia and other middle to high-income countries. The aim of this study is to gain a deep understanding of the experiences and influences on vaccine hesitant children and their families. A qualitative interview approach was undertaken with vaccine hesitant parents and pregnant women (n = 12). Semi-structured interviews were conducted by telephone. Inductive thematic analysis was undertaken on data obtained using the guidelines of Braun and Clarke. Three main themes were identified in this study, including Pushed to the fringe; A culture of Distrust; and Coerced choices. The study revealed that vaccine hesitant parents felt isolated and pushed to the fringe of society. They also expressed dissatisfaction with the Australian “No Jab – No Pay” and “No Jab – No Play” legislation. This contributed to feelings of marginalization. Participants also cited a breakdown in the therapeutic relationships, which impacted their child’s health. Additionally, a lack of sufficient information was received to achieve informed consent. These results suggest that there is a need for enhanced education for some health-care professionals, many of whom have reported being confronted by conversations with vaccine hesitant parents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-276
Number of pages15
JournalComprehensive Child and Adolescent Nursing
Issue number4
Early online date15 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Children
  • families
  • vaccine hesitancy
  • nursing


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