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Eur J Public Health. 2017 Jun 1;27(3):524-530. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckw248.

Increase in vaccination coverage between subsequent generations of orthodox Protestants in The Netherlands.

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Public Health Service (GGD) Gelderland-Zuid, Department of Infectious Disease Control, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
Academic Collaborative Centre AMPHI, Department of Primary and Community Care, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


The Netherlands experienced several outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases, largely confined to an orthodox Protestant minority group. Based on religious arguments some orthodox Protestants accept vaccination, while others refuse. Their acceptance of vaccination, however, seems to be changing over time. We estimated vaccination coverage in subsequent generations of orthodox Protestants and identified determinants of the intention to vaccinate their (future) children. In 2013 orthodox Protestants in the age of 18-40 years were invited to fill out an online questionnaire on their own vaccination status, vaccination status of their parents, the vaccination status or vaccination intention for their (future) children, and possible determinants of the intention to vaccinate (future) children. Vaccination coverage of respondents' parents and respondents was compared using chi-square tests. Logistic regression was used to identify determinants associated with vaccination of (future) children. In total, 981 orthodox Protestant respondents were included in the study. Vaccination coverage among the parents of respondents was 40.1% (95% CI 37.8-42.5%), among respondents 55.3% (95% CI 52.2-58.4%). This means an increase of 15.2% in one generation ( P < 0.001). About 65% of respondents vaccinated or intends to vaccinate their (future) children. Multivariate logistic regression showed that strongest predictors for vaccinating (future) children were low or moderate level of religious conservatism (OR 10.4 [95% CI 5.7-18.9] and 4.6 [95% CI 2.9-7.4], respectively), being vaccinated themselves (OR 6.0 [95% CI 4.3-8.5]) and high educational level (OR 2.5 [95% CI 1.6-4.0]). Vaccination coverage among Dutch orthodox Protestants is increasing over time.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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