Vaccine reluctance is a worldwide problem that must be quantified and addressed. The purpose of this study was to determine the factors that contribute to vaccination reluctance in a broad regional population. A structured telephone survey was given to a random digit sample of people in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. In addition to socioeconomic information, respondents were asked questions on immunization knowledge and attitudes, medical consultations, health status, and living habits. Data were weighted based on age, gender, and territory. To discover independent determinants for vaccination reluctance, statistically significant variables from the univariate analysis were incorporated into a multivariate logistic regression model. There were a total of 8,737 interviews. 32.2 percent of all responders were vaccine-hesitant. Vaccine reluctance was strongly related with several views, including the opinion that children receive too many vaccines, the belief that a healthy lifestyle may reduce the need for vaccination, and the belief that alternative medical practices can eliminate the need for vaccination. Other factors linked with vaccination reluctance were having seen a massage therapist, not having received an influenza vaccine, having a low or moderate household income, mistrust in public health authorities, felt insufficient information about immunization, and smoking.

Vaccine reluctance is caused by a variety of factors. When health workers interact with vaccine-averse persons, these variables should be considered.