Impact of a website based educational program for increasing vaccination coverage among adolescents

Susanna Esposito, Sonia Bianchini, Claudia Tagliabue, Giulia Umbrello, Barbara Madini, Giada Di Pietro, Nicola Principi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Data regarding the use of technology to improve adolescent knowledge on vaccines are scarce. The main aim of this study was to evaluate whether different web-based educational programmes for adolescents might increase their vaccination coverage. Overall, 917 unvaccinated adolescents (389 males, 42.4%; mean age ± standard deviation, 14.0 ± 2.2 years) were randomized 1:1:1 into the following groups: no intervention (n = 334), website educational program only (n = 281), or website plus face to face lesson (n = 302) groups. The use of the website plus the lesson significantly increased the overall knowledge of various aspects of vaccine-preventable disease and reduced the fear of vaccines (p < 0.001). A significant increase in vaccination coverage was observed for tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis and conjugated meningococcal ACYW vaccines in the 2 groups using the website (p < 0.001), and better results were observed in the group that had also received the lesson; in this last group, significant results were observed in the increase in vaccination coverage for meningococcal B vaccine (p < 0.001). Overall, the majority of the participants liked the experience of the website, although they considered it important to further discuss vaccines with parents, experts and teachers. This study is the first to evaluate website based education of adolescents while considering all of the vaccines recommended for this age group. Our results demonstrate the possibility of increasing vaccination coverage by using a website based educational program with tailored information. However, to be most effective, this program should be supplemented with face-to-face discussions of vaccines at school and at home. Thus, specific education should also include teachers and parents so that they will be prepared to discuss with adolescents what is true and false in the vaccination field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)961-968
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • adolescents
  • educational programmeprogram
  • vaccination coverage
  • vaccine
  • web-sitewebsite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of a website based educational program for increasing vaccination coverage among adolescents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this