A study of factors influencing the health seeking behavior of parents for routine immunization during the Covid 19 pandemic.
The Covid-19 Pandemic has adversely affected the routine immunization services. The lockdown measures enforced by regulatory bodies to mitigate the transmission of the virus have further affected the rate of turn-over of children being brought for vaccination.
Aim: To assess the factors influencing the health seeking behavior of parents for routine immunization during the early phase of Covid-19 pandemic.
Methods: This was an observational questionnaire based study conducted after obtaining ethical approval. The questionnaire was shared via goggle forms with parents of children who visited this hospital and of the newborns who were born at this center during 15 Feb 2020 to 15 May 2020.The parents of children employed at the center and those who had technical difficulty for responding were excluded. Responses were tabulated and data analyzed. Chi square test was used to find any association between variables.
Results: A total of 81 respondents submitted the responses. 40.7% of children did not complete routine immunization. Amongst children below one year of age 42.86% did not complete full immunization. A significant association was observed between travel distances and transport difficulties that hindered the parents to visit the center for immunization. The other reasons for decline in turnover for immunization in 59.2% was fear of child getting Covid-19 infection due to a hospital visit and 67.9% had a suspicion that their child would be handled by same health care personal taking care of Covid-19. Educated fathers were more inclined to complete full immunization.
Conclusions: There was a decline in the rate of children being brought to facility for routine immunization. Redesigning strategies for safe immunization practices need to be strengthened