Immunisation is one of the most cost-effective means of preventing disease and improving health.
The timeliness of immunisation delivery is important, including for the diseases preventable by vaccination to which very young infants are particularly vulnerable, such as pertussis (also known as whooping cough) and invasive pneumococcal disease. We understand some of the barriers and enablers to improving rates of timely immunisation, but there are still gaps in our knowledge in the New Zealand context, particularly regarding the following:
- Most women make their decisions regarding their infant’s immunisations whilst they are still pregnant, yet we know little about the influence of fathers’ immunisation intentions on infant immunisation timeliness.
- We do not have a full picture of where families get their information about immunisation from, what information they trust, and the impact of this information on infant immunisation timeliness.
- We need to know more to improve timely immunisation for some groups within our population that have high intentions for immunisation, but whose intentions are not always met with our current approach.
These are all important knowledge gaps to fill in order to maximise policy effectiveness, and to minimise the serious risks and inequitable effect of vaccine-preventable diseases in New Zealand.
This policy brief from Growing Up in New Zealand focuses on the intentions for immunisation, the sources of encouraging and discouraging information for pregnant women and their partners, and the impact that this information has on timely immunisation for the new generation of New Zealand children.
Read the media release: Dads can help boost immunisation rates - study