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Vaccine. 2019 Jan 29;37(5):690-692. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2018.10.097. Epub 2018 Nov 2.

Evidence of decreased HPV vaccine acceptance in Polish communities within Scotland.

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Health Protection Scotland, Meridian Court, Cadogan St, Glasgow, UK; School of Health and Life Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow, UK. Electronic address:
Information Services Division, Gyle Square, Edinburgh, UK.
NHS Lothian, Directorate of Public Health and Health Policy, Edinburgh, UK.


Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines are currently utilised globally in national immunisation programmes. Many new European migrants have settled in the United Kingdom (UK) since the 2004 European Union expansion with approximately 91,000 Polish people resident in Scotland. Following anecdotal reports from several NHS Boards within Scotland of lower HPV vaccine uptake in Polish communities compared with other ethnic minorities, an extract containing both forename and surname, was taken from the Scottish Immunisation Recall System (SIRS) for all girls in S2 and S3 in school years 2014/15 to 2016/17. We then used the OnoMap algorithm software to derive ethnicity. OnoMap identified between 289 and 321 age-eligible girls as Polish with significant disparity noted for completed HPV vaccine uptake between UK (87.2-89.8%) and Polish ethnicities (69.7-77.2%) (P < 0.01). Preliminary discussions with Polish families suggest that vaccine programme differences, trust in medical/healthcare practitioners, and cultural influences may be important drivers of acceptance.


Acceptance; HPV; Immunisation; Polish; Vaccine

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