Vaccine Hesitancy and Its Determinants Among Refugee Parents Resettled in Aotearoa New Zealand
Vaccine hesitancy is an important factor underpinning suboptimal vaccine uptake and evidence on marginalized subgroups, such as refugees, is limited. This cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2020/21 with former refugee parents who resettled in Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ). The Parent Attitudes about Childhood Vaccines (PACV) was offered in Somali, Oromo, Arabic, and English languages, and the reliability of the four versions were evaluated. The prevalence of parental vaccine hesitancy was explored and the association between vaccine hesitancy and sociodemographic factors was examined using logistic regression. One hundred and seventy-eight responses were included in the analysis. The Cronbach’s alpha scores for Somali, Oromo, Arabic, and English PACV were 0.89, 0.64, 0.53, and 0.77, respectively. The rate of parental vaccine hesitancy was 16.3%, 95% CI (10.7, 21.3). Most caregivers were concerned about vaccine side effects (47%), safety (43%), and efficacy (40%). Less than a quarter (21%) of parents had delayed their child receiving a vaccine and 12% had refused to vaccinate their child for reasons other than medical exemptions. After adjusting for covariate/s, parents’ primary source of information and education status were significantly associated with vaccine hesitancy. Media as a primary source of vaccine information and low education status were associated with higher vaccine hesitancy. Vaccine hesitancy is relatively low among former refugees and is influenced by modifiable factors, including educational level and primary source of vaccine information. Vaccine information tailored to former refugee parents’ concerns are required to reduce vaccine hesitancy and improve vaccine uptake.