A survey by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has found high levels of vaccine confidence among parents of young children, with the GP surgery the preferred location for getting childhood immunisations.

The survey, which included 1,485 parents of children aged 0 to 4 years, found a high level of confidence in immunisations. Of those surveyed, 95% agreed that vaccines work, 91% think vaccines are safe and 90% said that they trust vaccines.

Pharmacists ranked within the top three most trusted sources of vaccine information, behind ‘the NHS’ and ‘health professionals (like their GP, practice nurse, midwife, health visitor)’, and ahead of the internet, newspapers, magazines, television, radio and social media.

Over half (66%) said that they received vaccine information from their health visitor or midwife, while 62% said that they received vaccine information from another healthcare professional such as a GP, nurse or pharmacist.

Most (89% of) parents with children aged under 3 years and 4 months said that they had spoken to a health professional about vaccines, and 36% of parents felt more confident about vaccinating their baby after receiving information from a health professional. Of those who were undecided about vaccination, 42% felt more confident about getting their baby vaccinated after speaking to a health professional.

However, almost all parents (90%) said that they like to have their child’s immunisations at their GP practice, with around 85% saying that it would be their first choice of location.

Around a quarter of those surveyed said that a pharmacist would be their first choice to give their child their vaccines. Around another 10% said that a pharmacist would be their second choice and around another 10% said that a pharmacist would be their third choice.

Just over 20% said that their first choice of location would be another community setting, such as a children’s centre or community centre.

Around eight in ten had found it easy to get a convenient appointment for their most recent vaccine visit, 63% were satisfied with information provided before the visit and 82% were satisfied with the information provided at the vaccine visit.

Almost all (98% of) parents said that they like to be reminded about upcoming appointments by text or email.

Most (97%) of the 1,485 parents surveyed were female and had one child (78%). The majority (94%) were aged between 25 and 44 years and 88% were married, in a civil partnership or living as a couple.

The participants spanned a range of socioeconomic groups and 79% were white British, 8% were any other white background, 4% were Asian/ British Asian, 3% were black/ black British.

They were contacted by email via the commercial parenting organisation, Bounty, on behalf of the UKHSA.

Think tank Policy Exchange recently recommended that all adult vaccinations in England be delivered through community pharmacies in England.

Some community pharmacies are accredited to offer Covid vaccines for children, and some pharmacies in London offered the polio vaccination last year.