Introduction: Vaccination provides health and economic benefits to the individual and to society. In Saudi Arabia, public support for immunisation programmes is generally high and well received. However, the benefits of vaccines are often not fully known or appreciated. When public discussion on vaccine safety, quality or efficacy occurs, very often misinformation creeps into the debate through the internet and other media sources, significantly weakening immunisation programmes. Vaccine hesitancy is a concept frequently used in the discourse around vaccine acceptance. This study reflects on the factors associated with vaccine hesitancy, through a study focusing on knowledge, attitudes and beliefs among parents of young children. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out in seven primary schools in Makkah city, Saud Arabia. Data were collected in 2017 through a computer based-survey administered to 100 parents with children aged between 2 months and 17 years of age. Questionnaire responses were analysed using Minitab. Results: Many parents (with a total of 292 children) agreed on the importance of vaccinations, to protect their children’s health and to prevent the spread of diseases in the community. Most parents (68.7%, P < 0.05) reported their child had received all recommended vaccines. Approximately one third (31.3%, P < 0.05) of parents indicated their hesitation in having their child vaccinated. The lack of vaccines in primary care centres, fear of adverse events and vaccine safety were the reasons most frequently mentioned by these vaccine-hesitant parents. In addition, some parents believed vaccines had become a business and that profits were more important than their children’s safety. Other parents complained about the increasingly “crowded” vaccination schedules. A minority of parents believe that vaccines did not prevent the spread of disease in the community (P < 0.05). Discussion and Conclusions: Vaccine hesitancy is a common problem in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. Further research will be needed to better understand when, how and why these beliefs are formed.