Parental Vaccine Hesitancy: Clinical Implications for Pediatric Providers


Despite being recognized as one of the greatest public health achievements, vaccines are increasingly under scrutiny for a multitude of reasons. ‘‘Parental vaccine hesitancy,’’ an emerging term in today’s literature, encompasses a widerange of concerns regarding vaccines and is believed to be responsible for decreasing coverage of many childhood vaccines. The threat to herd immunity posed by poor vaccine uptake increases the risk for resurgence of vaccine preventable diseases. Pediatric primary health care providers have an obligation to respond to the increasing prevalence of vaccine hesitancy by providing education related to vaccines to ensure the safety and health of the population. The purpose of this article is to examine the most common concerns surrounding vaccine hesitancy and outline strategies for pediatric providers to address concerns with parents in the clinical setting. J Pediatr Health Care. (2015) 29, 385-394.

Important: This continuing education activity is no cost to NAPNAP Members. You must be logged into PedsCESM using your NAPNAP Member ID # and Password to be recognized as a Member of NAPNAP. If you are a current member of NAPNAP, and you are being asked to purchase this activity at the Non-Member rate ($10.00), please contact the NAPNAP National Office at (877) 662-7627 to request assistance prior to entering any payment information.

This continuing education activity is administered by the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) as an Agency providing continuing education credit. Individuals who complete this program and earn a 70% or higher score on the post test will be awarded 1.0 NAPNAP contact hour, of which 1.0 contains pharmacology content.

Copyright 2015© by National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Participants are forbidden to reproduce, republish, redistribute, or resell this course in any other form. For copyright-related questions, please email your question to:

Target Audience

Pediatric-focused advanced practice registered nurses.

Learning Objectives

  1. Define vaccine hesitancy.
  2. Identify reasons for parental vaccine hesitancy.
  3. Discuss the implications of vaccine hesitancy on the child and community.
  4. Describe ways to approach vaccine concerns with parents.
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 Contact hours
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
  • Meagan A. Barrows, BSN, RN, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Student, Purdue University School of Nursing, College of Health and Human Sciences, West Lafayette, IN.
  • Jennifer A. Coddington, DNP, MSN, RN, CPNP, Clinical Associate Professor, Director, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program, Director, Doctor of Nursing Practice Program, Director of Practice and Outreach, Co-Clinical Director, North Central Nursing Clinics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.
  • Elizabeth A. Richards, PhD, MSN, RN, CHES, & Pamela M. Aaltonen, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.
  • Pamela M. Aaltonen, Associate Head, School of Nursing, Associate Professor of Nursing, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.

Faculty Disclosure:

None to report

Correspondence: Jennifer A. Coddington, DNP, MSN, RN, CPNP, Purdue University, 502 N University St. JNSN 234, West Lafayette, IN 47907; e-mail:

Available Credit

  • 1.00 Contact hours


Please login or register to take this course.