Background: Schools serve as a convenient potential venue for the delivery of adolescent vaccines. However, little is known about parents’ opinions regarding school-based immunization of adolescents.
Objectives: To assess 1) parents’ attitudes toward vaccination of adolescents in a school setting and 2) the association of these views with adolescents’ health insurance status and access to primary care.
Methods: This study was conducted in three middle schools in an urban/suburban school district in Aurora,
Results: A total of 500 (62%) parents completed surveys. Parents reported that 82% of teens had access to a usual site of health care; 45% had private insurance, 32% had public insurance, and 17% were uninsured. Overall, 71% of parents would consent for their child to receive vaccines in a school setting. Parents were more likely to consent for Tdap (72%), meningococcal (71%), and influenza (67%), compared with HPV (53% of parents of girls). Sixty-one percent of parents cited a regular doctor’s office, 17% identified school clinics, and 14% chose public health clinics as the best place for adolescent immunization. Among parents of teens with access to primary care, 66% would consent for vaccines at school, versus 92% of parents of teens without such access (p<0.0001). Fifty-nine percent of parents of teens with private insurance, 76% of parents of teens with public insurance, and 93% of parents of uninsured teens would consent for vaccines at school (p<0.0001).
Conclusions: Over two-thirds of surveyed parents would consent for vaccines at school despite most reporting a regular doctor’s office as the preferred site. These data support school-based vaccine delivery, especially for teens without health insurance or access to primary care.