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Public Health Rev. 2003;31(1):71-9.

Compliance with influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations in Israel, 1999-2002.

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Israel Center for Disease Control, Tel Hashomer 52621, Israel.



In a previous study, we found a relatively low compliance with influenza vaccination among the elderly (65 years and over) in both 1998/1999 and 1999/2000 winters. Prior to the 2000/2001 winter season, a campaign was conducted by the Israeli Ministry of Health and the local health maintanance organizations for improving compliance with influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations. The main purpose of the present study was to monitor the impact of that campaign on compliance with influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations.


(a) To compare the compliance rate of target groups with influenza vaccination in Israel during 2000/2001 and 2001/2002 winter seasons with previous years, (b) to estimate the compliance rate of the elderly with pneumococcal vaccination in Israel in the last 5 years, (c) to determine reasons for non-compliance.


Questions about compliance with influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations were included in quarterly national telephone surveys monitoring acute morbidity in Israel. Each survey was based on a sample of about 900 households and was carried out during three successive evenings. Questions were directed at interviewees of 18 years and over who were asked to report the vaccnation status of all the household members.


A gradual increase in compliance with influenza vaccination was demonstrated for the elderly (aged 65 years and over) in the 2000/2001 (54.4%) and 2001/2002 (60.8%) winter seasons compared to the previous two seasons (51.6% in 1998/1999 and 49.1% in 1999/2000). A slight nonsignificant increase was also observed in the 50-64 age group (18.3% in 2002 survey). The proportion of the elderly who were reported to be vaccinated against pneumonia in the five years preceding the interview was higher in the 2002 survey (27.9%) compared to that of 2001 (20.1%). Lack of physician recommendation and low degreee of risk perception seem to be the major reasons hindering the achievement of higher rates of vaccination coverage.


The vaccination campaign carried out in Israel prior to the 2000/2001 winter season was moderately successful in increasing the coverage of influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations in target groups. Performing this type of campaign every year before the influenza season should contribute to improving the compliance with vaccination of target groups.

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