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Vaccine. 2010 Feb 17;28(7):1861-9. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2009.11.078. Epub 2010 Jan 19.

Socioeconomic factors play a more important role in childhood vaccination coverage than parental perceptions: a cross-sectional study in Greece.

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Department of Child Health, National School of Public Health, 196 Alexandras Av, 11521 Athens, Greece.


To identify predictive factors of complete and age-appropriate vaccination status in Greece, we conducted a cross-sectional study, using stratified cluster sampling, among children attending the first year of the Greek Grammar school (about 6 years of age) and their parents/guardians. Almost 88% (N=3878) of pupils in the selected clusters (school classrooms) provided their vaccination booklet and their parents/guardians completed a questionnaire regarding beliefs and attitudes towards immunization. Belonging to a minority group, having other siblings and perceiving long distance to immunization site as a barrier were independent predictors of both incomplete and delayed vaccination status in the final logistic regression model. Maternal age >or=30 years and the perception that natural disease is preferable to vaccination were associated with complete vaccination, whereas paternal education of high school or higher was the other independent determinant of age-appropriate immunization. Socioeconomic factors rather than parental beliefs and attitudes towards immunization explained underimmunization. Further interventions are warranted to enhance vaccine coverage in high-risk groups identified in this study.

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