Knowledge and attitudes about vaccinations among adolescents


Purpose. The aim of this study was to investigate among adolescents in Antwerp their knowledge about vaccination and to describe their information sources, motives and barriers for vaccination. Methods. In March 2009, adolescents aged between 14 and 17 years from three schools with a mixed Belgian and immigrant population in Antwerp completed a written questionnaire concerning vaccination. The questionnaire was already used and validated in a study in five European countries: France, Italy, Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom. Results. In total 186 adolescents completed the questionnaire. Most of them (93%) knew that vaccination is a method to prevent disease. Most adolescents knew about the existence of vaccines against tetanus (94%), hepatitis B (91%) and human papillomavirus (87%). The most important sources for information were the family physician (83%), the school (79%) and the parents (70%). Their knowledge about vaccinations was not related to courses about vaccination at school. Conclusions. The physician, the school and the parents play a key role in the vaccination of adolescents. Our results are in many aspects similar to those in the other European countries.