Archive \ Volume.11 2020 Issue 3

Determinants of childhood vaccine hesitancy among Malaysian youths

Farida Islahudin , Noraida Mohamed Shah , Nursyahira Hasim

Context: There is a rise in vaccine hesitancy among parents and carers, however, little is known regarding vaccine attitudes among youths. Aims: This work aimed to investigate the determinants of attitudes towards vaccination among youths in Malaysia. Settings and Design: This was a cross-sectional study performed among youths aged 18-24 years in Malaysia. Methods: A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data on socio-demographics, perceived health and illness, and attitude towards vaccination. Univariate logistic regression was performed. Results: A total of 1022 respondents were included. The total score of the perceived health and illness was an average of 12.4±2.9 (total score=20), with a higher score demonstrating a more positive health perception. 184 (18.0%) were categorized as having a positive perception of health. The average vaccination attitude score of the study population was 34.2±2.4 (total score=51), with a higher score demonstrating a more positive attitude towards vaccination. Only 16 (1.6%) respondents were categorized as having a positive attitude towards vaccination. Despite the low number of positive attitudes towards vaccination, the majority strongly agreed/agreed that ‘Vaccines are necessary to prevent certain disease’ (n=964, 96.3%). Those living in villages were 7.5 times more likely to have a positive attitude towards vaccination compared to those staying in the city (CI: 0.277-3.757, p=0.023). Conclusion: To that end, there is a vital need to address the generally poor attitude towards vaccination. Strategies should aim to reduce misunderstanding of vaccines, especially among youths staying in cities to prevent vaccine hesitancy in the near future

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