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Nurses as Primary Advocates for Immunization Adherence

Wade, Gail Holland PhD, RN

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing: November/December 2014 - Volume 39 - Issue 6 - p 351–356
doi: 10.1097/NMC.0000000000000083

Immunizations, one of the greatest public health achievements, are at times hindered by a history of powerful biological, social, and cultural reactions from the public. State laws require immunizations for school entry, however some parents choose a nonmedical exemption for their children. Although many vaccine-preventable diseases are practically extinct in the United States, nurses have a unique role in increasing parents' understanding that herd immunity may not protect their unimmunized children. By listening to and addressing parents' concerns about immunizations, nurses can dispel misconceptions and help change parents' perceptions about the risks associated with immunizations.

Nurses can be helpful in promoting childhood immunizations when they have adequate data to share with parents. This article provides up-to-date evidence for nurses about childhood immunizations.

Gail Holland Wade is an Associate Professor, School of Nursing, University of Delaware, Newark, DE. The author can be reached via e-mail at

The author declares no conflict of interest.

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.