Background: Vaccination is one of the most cost-effective health investments to prevent and control communicable diseases. Improving the vaccination rate of children is important for all nations, and for China in particular since the advent of the two-child policy. This study aims to elicit the stated preference of parents for vaccination following recent vaccine-related incidents in China. Potential preference heterogeneity was also explored among respondents. Methods: A discrete choice experiment was developed to elicit parental preferences regarding the key features of vaccines in 2019. The study recruited a national sample of parents from 10 provinces who had at least one child aged between 6 months and 5 years old. A conditional logit model and a mixed logit model were used to estimate parental preference. Results: A total of 598 parents completed the questionnaire; among them, 428 respondents who passed the rational tests were analyzed. All attributes except for the severity of diseases prevented by vaccines were statistically significant. The risk of severe side effects and protection rates were the two most important factors explaining parents’ decisions about vaccination. The results of the mixed logit model with interactions indicate that fathers or rural parents were more likely to vaccinate their children, and children whose health was not good were also more likely to be vaccinated. In addition, parents who were not more than 30 years old had a stronger preference for efficiency, and well-educated parents preferred imported vaccines with the lowest risk of severe side effects. Conclusion: When deciding about vaccinations for their children, parents in China are mostly driven by vaccination safety and vaccine effectiveness and were not affected by the severity of diseases. These findings will be useful for increasing the acceptability of vaccination in China.
- Discrete choice experiment
- Parental preference