Research and analysis

Childhood vaccines: parental attitudes survey 2022 findings

Updated 20 February 2023

Applies to England

Background on the survey

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) designed an online survey to find out what parents think about vaccination. UKHSA commissioned the commercial parenting organisation, Bounty, to send an invitation email and survey link to parents registered with their organisation who had children aged between 2 months and under 5 years. Parents were emailed on 2 September 2022 and a reminder email was sent on 16 September 2022.

A total of 1,485 surveys were completed among parents of children aged 0 to 4 years. Parents who took part had 1,420 children who were not yet old enough to have their pre-school boosters (aged under 3 years and 4 months) and 241 children who were old enough to have their pre-school booster (aged at least 3 years and 4 months and aged under 5 years). Most (78%) had one child. Almost everyone who took part in the survey was female (97%).

Findings from the survey

Confidence in the programme

Parents had a high level of confidence in the vaccine programme:

  • 95% agree vaccines work
  • 91% think vaccines are safe
  • 90% agree they trust vaccines

Importance of vaccines

Most parents came across information that made them feel vaccines were important for their baby or child.

74% of parents read, heard or saw something that made them feel it was important for their baby, or young child to have their vaccines. This information most often came from official sources (health professionals, the red book, the NHS website or NHS leaflets).

Only 15% of parents read, heard or saw something that made them concerned or worried about their baby or child having their vaccines. This most often came from friends or family, social media, the internet (Netmums or Mumsnet), TV or magazines or radio.

Trust in sources of vaccine information

Parents have a high level of trust in vaccination information received from healthcare professionals and the NHS.

When asked to rank different sources of vaccine information:

  • 93% ranked the NHS in first to third place
  • 91% ranked health professionals (like their GP, practice nurse, midwife, health visitor) in in first to third place
  • 84% ranked pharmacists in in first to third place, mostly due to 76% in third place
  • fewer than 3% ranked the internet in first to third place
  • 1% ranked newspapers, magazines, television, radio in first to third place
  • fewer than 1% ranked social media in first to third place

Vaccinations at the GP practice

Almost all parents like to have their child vaccinated at their GP practice:

  • 90% of parents agreed they like to have their child vaccinated at their GP practice
  • 98% of parents agreed that they like to be reminded about upcoming appointments by text or email

Satisfaction with vaccination visit

Most parents were satisfied with their most recent vaccine visit. Some parents would have liked better information before their child’s visit:

  • 85% were satisfied with coronavirus (COVID-19) safety measures at the practice
  • 84% found it easy to get a convenient appointment
  • 82% were satisfied with the information provided at the vaccine visit
  • 81% were satisfied with waiting room facilities
  • 63% were satisfied with information provided before the visit

Making informed decisions

Most parents said they had enough information to make an informed decision about vaccinating their child.

81% of parents agreed they had enough information to make an informed decision about vaccinating their child.

The following were the most common ways that parents received vaccine information:

  • red book or child’s personal health record (72%)
  • health visitor or midwife (66%)
  • other healthcare professional (for example, GP, nurse, pharmacist) (62%)
  • the NHS website (56%)
  • NHS leaflets (32%)

Level of disease severity

Most parents thought diseases that vaccines protect against could be serious for their baby or child:

  • meningitis and septicaemia were considered very serious by 95% of parents
  • over 90% of parents thought that measles, rubella, mumps, polio, pneumonia and hepatitis could be serious or very serious
  • COVID-19, flu and rotavirus were least likely to be considered serious

Speaking with health professionals

Most parents felt their baby or child would have all the vaccines offered before any discussion with a health professional:

  • 89% of parents with children aged under 3 years and 4 months did speak to a health professional about vaccines
  • 36% of parents felt more confident about vaccinating their baby after receiving information from a health professional
  • 42% of parents who were undecided felt more confident about getting their baby vaccinated after speaking to a health professional


A slide set and infographics of the survey findings are available to download.