To examine middle school students’ vaccination knowledge and attitudes, researchers measured their awareness of vaccine safety and efficacy, expectations for communication with health care professionals, and desired participation in the vaccination decision-making process. Bivariate analyses were used to find differences in viewpoint-based on gender, grade, and vaccination views. 336 of the 346 pupils in the class participated. The majority of respondents were White and aged 11 to 13. Boys were much more likely than girls to believe that vaccinations were extremely safe and effective. Approximately one-third of teenagers reported having a say in whether or not they were vaccinated, and a quarter of students indicated a need for particular vaccination information.

According to the findings of this study, young adolescents in a nonurban area of Upstate New York were generally marginalized in the vaccine decision-making process, despite the fact that one-third of them expressed an interest in how vaccines work and a desire to participate in healthcare decisions. Interventions to increase vaccination uptake among teenagers should rely on this desire to comprehend vaccine safety, efficacy, and mechanism of action.