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Keywords:

  • Immunization;
  • Latino children;
  • immunization rates, low-income children;
  • Hispanic children, vaccination rates;
  • perceived barriers to immunizations;
  • parents’ perceptions

Abstract

Purpose: Identify low-income Latino mothers’ perceived barriers to immunizations.

Data sources: A 1-month survey was conducted in a Southern California, low-income primary care clinic. Mothers of Latino children aged 2 months to 18 years were surveyed in Spanish using a 52-question immunization survey.

Conclusions: Latino mothers’ perception of immunizations and knowledge of up-to-date status greatly influenced their children's immunization status. In addition, Latino children had lower immunization rates and encountered more barriers to immunizations than children in other population groups despite government efforts to provide vaccines to healthcare providers at no cost to assist low-income children. Most mothers (92%) believed their children were up-to-date on immunizations; however, immunization records documented that 42% of the children were current based on age. The most common barriers reported were that the child was sick at the time of the visit (51%) and/or transportation problems (39%).

Implications for practice: When working with low-income, uninsured Latinos, nurse practitioners and other healthcare professionals with low immunization rates in their clinic must assess the barriers to immunization and implement an action plan.