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Acta Paediatr. 2009 Aug;98(8):1307-12. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2009.01331.x. Epub 2009 May 7.

Coverage of recommended vaccines in children at 7-8 years of age in Flanders, Belgium.

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Centre for the Evaluation of Vaccination, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Institute, University of Antwerp, B-2610 Antwerp, Belgium.



Evaluation of the coverage of primary diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP), poliomyelitis, hepatitis B (HBV) and measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine doses recommended before the age of 18 months in 7-year-old school children in Flanders, Belgium. Meningococcal serogroup C and DT-polio vaccines offered respectively as catch-up and booster vaccinations were also evaluated.


Parents of 792 children born in Flanders in 1997 and selected by cluster sampling were interviewed at home in 2005. Vaccination data since infancy were collected retrospectively from vaccination documents and school health records.


Coverage rates were 88.0% for the first dose of MMR, and 72.0%, 84.2% and 91.4% for the recommended HBV, DTP and poliomyelitis primary vaccine doses, respectively. These rates included catch-up of missed infant MMR (4.9%) and HBV (6.4%) vaccinations. In addition, 88.3% of the target group received the DT-polio booster dose recommended at 6 years of age and 83.1% a meningococcal C vaccine dose. Preventive public health services as well as private physicians were involved to a varying extent. A lower socioeconomic status of the family was associated with a higher risk of nonvaccination.


Vaccinators in Flanders reach children relatively well during infancy and at school age, but catch-up of missed infant vaccine doses, especially MMR, should be optimized.

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