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Revista Brasileira de Saúde Materno Infantil

versão impressa ISSN 1519-3829


PUGLIESI, Maria Vicencia; TURA, Luiz Fernando Rangel  e  ANDREAZZI, Maria de Fátima Siliansky de. Mothers and the vaccination of children: a study of social representations in the public health sector. Rev. Bras. Saude Mater. Infant. [online]. 2010, vol.10, n.1, pp.75-84. ISSN 1519-3829.

OBJECTIVES: a survey of the factors involved in significant observance on the part of mothers of the National Immunization Program's vaccination calendar. METHODS: a study of 124 pregnants divided into two groups: 61 nulliparous pregnant women and 63 multiparous women attending the Gynecology/ Obstetrics and Pediatrics service of the Heitor Beltrão CMS (Rio de Janeiro-RJ) in the period August 2003 to January 2004. In order to understand the meanings of the vaccination, a test of the ideas evoked by the word "vaccine" and a questionnaire were applied. RESULTS: it was identified that mothers associated immunization essentially with "prevention" and "protection". The ideas of "good", "careful" and "responsible" identified in the peripheral representations system led them to place these acquired cognitive concepts in the concrete context of their everyday lives, thereby ensuring that the vaccination calendar was observed. These feelings are strictly related to the epidemiological discourse that characterizes immunization as a specific act of protection. CONCLUSIONS: the Brazilian experience of child vaccination, with almost 90% observance achieved in little more than two decades, suggests that an active and informed point of view on the part of the beneficiaries of immunization has replaced any misunderstandings or resistance that mothers may have had with regard to vaccination. A specific set of political, economic, cultural and technological factors-both national and international-were identified as being involved in the provision of immunobiological services by the Brazilian health network and these are reflected in the present degree of observance of the vaccination calendar.

Palavras-chave : Vaccination; Health education.

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