Send to

Choose Destination
Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2011 Feb;108(7):99-104. doi: 10.3238/arztebl.2011.0099. Epub 2011 Feb 18.

Vaccination status and health in children and adolescents: findings of the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents (KiGGS).

Author information

Abteilung für Epidemiologie und Gesundheitsberichterstattung, Robert Koch-Institut, Berlin.



Whether unvaccinated children and adolescents differ from those vaccinated in terms of health is subject to some discussion.


We evaluated data on diseases that are preventable by vaccination, infectious and atopic diseases, and vaccinations received that had been collected between 2003 and 2006 in a representative sample of 17 641 subjects aged 0 to 17 years in the framework of the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents (Kinder- und Jugendgesundheitssurvey, KiGGS).


Evaluable data on vaccinations were available for 13 453 subjects aged 1-17 years from non-immigrant families. 0.7% of them (95% confidence interval: 0.5%-0.9%) were not vaccinated. The lifetime prevalence of diseases preventable by vaccination was markedly higher in unvaccinated than in vaccinated subjects. Unvaccinated children aged 1-5 years had a median number of 3.3 (2.1-4.6) infectious diseases in the past year, compared to 4.2 (4.1-4.4) in vaccinated children. Among 11- to 17-year-olds, the corresponding figures were 1.9 (1.0-2.8) (unvaccinated) versus 2.2 (2.1-2.3) (vaccinated). The lifetime prevalence of at least one atopic disease among 1- to 5-year-olds was 12.6% (5.0%-28.3%) in unvaccinated children and 15.0% (13.6%-16.4%) in vaccinated children. In older children, atopy was more common, but its prevalence was not found to depend on vaccination status: among 6- to 10-year-olds, the prevalence figures were 30.1% (12.9%-55.8%) for unvaccinated children versus 24.4% (22.8%-26.0%) for vaccinated children, and the corresponding figures for 11- to 17-year-olds were 20.3% (10.1%-36.6%) versus 29.9% (28.4%-31.5%).


The prevalence of allergic diseases and non-specific infections in children and adolescents was not found to depend on vaccination status.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Deutsches Aerzteblatt International Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center