Prev Med 2019 Mar 20;123:278-287. Epub 2019 Mar 20.
Institut national de santé publique du Quebec, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.
Childhood vaccination efforts in Canada have been negatively impacted by parents' vaccine hesitancy based on their knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs (KAB) about vaccinations. Less understood is the extent to which child vaccination receipt and KAB vary by parents' socioeconomic status (SES). Analyzing different age groups of children and vaccinations, we examine the extent to which (a) family SES (parent education, household income) is a determinant of Canadian parents' vaccination KAB and child vaccination receipt, and (b) whether SES was indirectly associated with receipt via KAB. In 2017, we analyzed 2013 Childhood National Immunization Coverage Survey (CNICS) data. We estimated models for parental KAB and child vaccination receipt for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) at age 2 (n = 3620); diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus (DPT) at age 7 (n = 3465); and human papillomavirus (HPV) at ages 12-14 (n = 5213 females). SES is inconsistently associated with KAB and vaccine receipt across the three age groups. SES differences in KAB mostly center on vaccine-specific side effect and safety concerns, with lower education and income levels associated with higher odds of being concerned. Non-receipt of minimum age-specific vaccination dosages was associated with concerns about vaccine effectiveness (DPT, HPV) and side effects (MMR, HPV) and lower perceived importance of immunizing a child (MMR, HPV). KAB mediation was mostly limited to SES patterns in MMR. We discuss the implications of these findings for designing general and population-specific vaccination education strategies and future studies of KAB and undervaccination.