Low uptake of childhood immunizations is a problem in many First Nations communities. This article describes the results of a study that examined mothers' perceptions of childhood immunizations and the factors that influence uptake.
Person-centred interviews focussing on childhood immunizations and child health were conducted with 28 mothers of young children in two First Nations communities in the Sioux Lookout Zone. Content analysis was applied to the interview data and patterns and themes were developed.
Data analysis identified four key factors as negatively influencing immunization uptake: knowledge barriers, the influence of others, vaccine barriers, and missed opportunities.
Further research with Elders and community members along with culturally sensitive education initiatives are required to address low immunization uptake. Changes in health professionals' behaviours may serve to reduce missed opportunities.