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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 364-371

Effects of Online Information and Social Media Platforms on Parents' Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices toward Childhood Vaccinations in Saudi Arabia


1 Department of Medical Education, Medical Informatics and E-learning Unit, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Medical Undergraduate Students, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Raniah Aldekhyyel
Department of Medical Education, Medical Informatics and E-learning Unit, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh 11362
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jnsm.jnsm_16_22

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Objective: The aim is to measure the knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) of parents towards childhood vaccinations. We also aim to explore if there is an association between parents' seeking vaccine information on the Internet and social media platforms, and vaccine hesitancy toward childhood vaccinations. Materials and Methods: Cross-sectional study was conducted in five mega malls in Riyadh by purposive sampling technique. Data collection lasted for 3 weeks from February 2020 using a self-developed questionnaire, which included: (1) sociodemographic information, (2) KAP, and (3) sources of information on childhood vaccination. Results: Five hundred and fourteen parents participated in our study, with most being mothers (79.4%). Most parents were informed about vaccination (94.7%), believed vaccines are safe (89.8%), and want their children to get the recommended vaccinations (92.4%). Forty-nine percent of parents use the internet as a source to seek vaccination information, while only 21% trust online information. As for social media, 27% mentioned that they use it to seek vaccine information but only 15% trust them as a source of information. 13.2% indicated that they changed their minds regarding vaccination because of information from the Internet, and 11.7% changed their minds from social media. We found a strong statistically significant association between vaccine hesitancy and information obtained from the internet and social media platforms (P = 0.000122, and 0.000025), respectively. Vaccine hesitancy, and information from family, and friends were statistically significant (P = 0.00003). Conclusions: We found a potential impact of internet health information and social media platforms on parents' hesitancy toward childhood vaccination.


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