UK parents' attitudes towards meningococcal group B (MenB) vaccination: A qualitative analysis

Cath Jackson, Joanne Yarwood, Vanessa Saliba, Helen Bedford*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: (1) To explore existing knowledge of, and attitudes, to group B meningococcal disease and serogroup B meningococcal (MenB) vaccine among parents of young children. (2) To seek views on their information needs. Design: Cross-sectional qualitative study using individual and group interviews conducted in February and March 2015, prior to the introduction of MenB vaccine (Bexsero) into the UK childhood immunisation schedule. Setting: Community centres, mother and toddler groups, parents' homes and workplaces in London and Yorkshire. Participants: 60 parents of children under 2 years of age recruited via mother and baby groups and via an advert posted to a midwife-led Facebook group. Results: Although recognising the severity of meningitis and septicaemia, parents' knowledge of group B meningococcal disease and MenB vaccine was poor. While nervous about fever, most said they would take their child for MenB vaccination despite its link to fever. Most parents had liquid paracetamol at home. Many were willing to administer it after MenB vaccination as a preventive measure, although some had concerns. There were mixed views on the acceptability of four vaccinations at the 12-month booster visit; some preferred one visit, while others favoured spreading the vaccines over two visits. Parents were clear on the information they required before attending the immunisation appointment. Conclusions: The successful implementation of the MenB vaccination programme depends on its acceptance by parents. In view of parents' recognition of the severity of meningitis and septicaemia, and successful introduction of other vaccines to prevent bacterial meningitis and septicaemia, the MenB vaccination programme is likely to be successful. However, the need for additional injections, the likelihood of post-immunisation fever and its management are issues about which parents will need information and reassurance from healthcare professionals. Public Health England has developed written information for parents, informed by these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere012851
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by PHE. The study funders were involved in the study conception, design, interpretation of data, writing of the article and decision to submit the article for publication. They did not contribute to data collection or data analysis. The research team operated completely independently of the funders in data collection and data analysis.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Article author(s).


  • MenB
  • immunisation
  • immunization
  • meningococcal
  • vaccination


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