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Overcoming Barriers to Vaccinations

This page addresses barriers that home visiting professionals might meet regarding vaccine education with the families they serve. This page also provides reasoning for barriers as well as tips to overcome disparities to help promote vaccine confidence among families.


Thanks to vaccines, many of us have been fortunate to grow up without seeing family or friends die or suffer life-long disability from diseases like measles or polio. Vaccines have eliminated these diseases from many countries. However, in some areas, misinformation has undermined trust in vaccines, causing some parents to delay or refuse vaccination. 


What is vaccine hesitancy?

Vaccine hesitancy refers to the delay in acceptance or refusal of vaccines despite the availability of vaccine services.27 Vaccine hesitancy manifests as a continuum- ranging from refusal of all vaccines to hesitancy and/or delay of some vaccines, all the way to demand and acceptance of all vaccines.27

Before broaching the topic of hesitancy, it is important to recognize that the vast majority of families get vaccinated. Even though it may seem like the above image is equal in parts, previous studies indicate that acceptance of vaccinations is the norm in the majority of populations globally.28 Only 1% of children nationally have not received any vaccines.28

Regardless on the percentage of unvaccinated, the impacts of hesitancy on vaccination rates are clear in Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR) and PRAMS data presented in Section 1 this toolkit.

To help understand the complexity of vaccine hesitancy and how to move forward from hesitancy - click on the subsections below