New Study: In Kyrgyzstan, family and paediatricians have the biggest influence on parents' decisions to vaccinate their children

30 April 2024
vaccination of children
UNICEF Kyrgyzstan

During World Immunisation Week, UNICEF presented the results of a new study on the factors that have the biggest influence on parents' decisions about vaccinating children. The research team surveyed 1,000 parents and caregivers, as well as 400 health workers across the country. The study was carried out in cooperation with the Ministry of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic.

According to the study, nearly 87 per cent of parents and caregivers have their children fully vaccinated on time. About 8 per cent of parents and caregivers intentionally refused all or some of the recommended vaccines.

Dr Sanja Matovic-Miljanovic, head of the research team, notes that the vast majority of respondents have a positive attitude towards vaccines and consider them important.

"The family, family doctor, and paediatricians play a very important role in the decision to vaccinate a child. Parents who rate their communication with their paediatrician as positive and perceive the doctor as responsive are more likely to vaccinate their child," she said.

Among the health workers surveyed, 74 per cent said that they always persuade parents to vaccinate their child, and almost 95 per cent provide additional information if the parent is unsure.

"We all know that vaccination is one of the effective measures to prevent infectious diseases, including measles. Vaccination directly protects vaccinated children as well as the entire community by providing herd immunity. Such studies make it possible to effectively design measures to prevent infections and reduce morbidity," noted the head of the Republic Center for Health Promotion Nurila Altymyshova.

Barriers to vaccination include parents' lack of confidence in the safety of vaccines, despite the fact that more than 77 per cent of parents believe they are safe. Some parents noted that the lack of information about vaccines made it difficult for them to make a decision.

“This research highlights that low levels of information is one of the key barriers for immunization. UNICEF will continue to work with government, doctors, civil society partners to help parents learn about safety and effectiveness of vaccines. Together, we can help increase their confidence in vaccines and make informed decisions” noted Samman Jung Thapa, UNICEF Representative in Kyrgyzstan.

The study was conducted by UNICEF and Euro Health Group in the summer of 2022.

The full report can be downloaded here.

Media contacts

Kairatbek Murzakimov
Communications, Advocacy and Partnerships Officer
UNICEF Kyrgyzstan

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