Vaccination postponement is an important contributing factor to low vaccination coverage. The causes of vaccine postponement are numerous, but the presence of viral infection, whether febrile or not, is the most frequent cause.
The objective was to explore the factors motivating the practice of vaccination postponement in a child with an infection by general practitioners (GPs) and paediatricians.
An exploratory qualitative study using semi-directive individual interviews was carried out among GPs and paediatricians in a French region between November 2015 and January 2018. After the interviews were fully transcribed, an analysis of the data was performed using an inductive method derived from the grounded theory.
Fourteen GPs and four paediatricians participated in the study. Vaccination postponement during infection in children is rooted in doctors’ practices; it is considered a low-risk habit that is shared with parents, and vaccine hesitancy reinforces this practice. In children presenting with an infection, the presence of uncertainty about vaccine safety and effectiveness seems to justify postponing vaccination. The organization of a consultation dedicated to vaccination catch-up was cited as the best tool to limit the effects of vaccination delay on vaccination coverage.
In children presenting with an infection, vaccination postponement is widely used by GPs and paediatricians. Simplification of the vaccination catch-up process and clear and consistent recommendations on the indications and modalities for vaccination postponement would be useful.

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