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Open AccessArticle

Perspectives on the Measles, Mumps and Rubella Vaccination among Somali Mothers in Stockholm

Unit for Vaccination Programmes, The Public Health Agency of Sweden, SE-171 82 Solna, Sweden
Division of Communicable Diseases and Health Security, WHO Regional Office for Europe, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
Equity and Health Policy Research Group, Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institute, Tomtebodavägen 18, 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2428;
Received: 20 September 2018 / Revised: 10 October 2018 / Accepted: 19 October 2018 / Published: 1 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Refugee, Migrant and Ethnic Minority Health)
Background: Vaccination hesitancy and skepticism among parents hinders progress in achieving full vaccination coverage. Swedish measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine coverage is high however some areas with low vaccination coverage risk outbreaks. This study aimed to explore factors influencing the decision of Somali parents living in the Rinkeby and Tensta districts of Stockholm, Sweden, on whether or not to vaccinate their children with the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Method: Participants were 13 mothers of at least one child aged 18 months to 5 years, who were recruited using snowball sampling. In-depth interviews were conducted in Somali and Swedish languages and the data generated was analysed using qualitative content analysis. Both written and verbal informed consent were obtained from participants. Results: Seven of the mothers had not vaccinated their youngest child at the time of the study and decided to postpone the vaccination until their child became older (delayers). The other six mothers had vaccinated their child for MMR at the appointed time (timely vaccinators). The analysis of the data revealed two main themes: (1) barriers to vaccinate on time, included issues surrounding fear of the child not speaking and unpleasant encounters with nurses and (2) facilitating factors to vaccinate on time, included heeding vaccinating parents’ advice, trust in nurses and trust in God. The mothers who had vaccinated their children had a positive impact in influencing other mothers to also vaccinate. Conclusions: Fear, based on the perceived risk that vaccination will lead to autism, among Somali mothers in Tensta and Rinkeby is evident and influenced by the opinions of friends and relatives. Child Healthcare Center nurses are important in the decision-making process regarding acceptance of MMR vaccination. There is a need to address mothers’ concerns regarding vaccine safety while improving the approach of nurses as they address these concerns. View Full-Text
Keywords: MMR vaccination; measles; vaccine hesitancy; autism; Rinkeby; Tensta MMR vaccination; measles; vaccine hesitancy; autism; Rinkeby; Tensta
MDPI and ACS Style

Jama, A.; Ali, M.; Lindstrand, A.; Butler, R.; Kulane, A. Perspectives on the Measles, Mumps and Rubella Vaccination among Somali Mothers in Stockholm. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 2428.

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