The views of the general public on prioritising vaccination programmes against childhood diseases: A qualitative study

Gemma Lasseter, Hareth Al-Janabi, Caroline L. Trotter, Fran E. Carroll, Hannah Christensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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Decisions regarding which vaccines are funded in the United Kingdom (UK) are increasingly informed by cost-effectiveness analyses. Such analyses use Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) as a measure of effectiveness and assume that QALYs are equal regardless of where and in whom they occur in the population. However, there is increasing debate about whether this QALY approach is appropriate and whether societal preferences for childhood vaccinations should be used to help inform childhood immunisation policy.

To gauge the general public's preferences for prioritising certain characteristics of childhood vaccination, to help inform future policy making decisions in the UK.

Qualitative design using individual face-to-face interviews, with data analysed using an inductive thematic framework approach.

Two counties in England, UK.

Adult members of the general public were recruited using the Bristol and South Gloucestershire open electoral registers, using gender and deprivation quotas for each area.

21 members of the public participated in qualitative interviews.

The qualitative research identified three major themes and several key attributes that influences participant's opinions about priority setting for childhood vaccinations: (1) population segment (i.e. age group, carer impact and social group), (2) vaccine preventable diseases preferences (i.e. disease severity, disease incidence and declining infection) and (3) risks and benefits associated with childhood vaccinations (i.e. vaccine associated side-effects, herd protection and peace of mind).

Evidence from this qualitative study suggests that some members of the UK general public have more nuanced views than the health-maximisation approach when considering how childhood vaccines should be prioritised. This is not necessarily captured by the current economic approaches for assessing the benefits from childhood vaccinations in the UK, but is an important area for future research to ensure appropriate decision making.
Original languageEnglish
Article number0197374
Number of pages18
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


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