Date of Conferral





Public Health


Vasileios Margaritis


Many people may have become increasingly concerned about the risks associated with vaccines. At the same time, there is a lack of qualitative research on the impact of various vaccinations schedules on individuals' physio-psychological health. In addition, "mandatory" versus "nonmandatory, but recommended" vaccines are still under debate in some Western countries. The purpose of this ethnographic study was to provide an in-depth understanding of the beliefs, experiences, and perceptions of adolescents, parents, and health care providers regarding different vaccination schedules. The health belief model was used as the theoretical framework. The sample consisted of adolescents and parents from different vaccination backgrounds, as well as of healthcare providers who were involved with vaccination schedules (N=72). Purposeful sampling strategy was applied and individual interviews were conducted. All interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim, and the obtained data were analyzed thematically. According to the results of the study, participants' perceptions on vaccination were generally positive, and a mandatory vaccination schedule was mostly recommended. Adolescents who received mandatory vaccination reported that this scheme was appropriate against several diseases. Further, health care members indicated that vaccination side effects were mainly emotional, and they suggested that public health agencies should disseminate more scientifically-sound information on the benefits and risks of vaccination. The findings of this study may be used as the basis for the formulation of an effective public health policy to adopt a nationally-and internationally-accepted vaccination schedule.