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Isr J Health Policy Res. 2019 Nov 26;8(1):82. doi: 10.1186/s13584-019-0349-x.

Factors associated with childhood influenza vaccination in Israel: a cross-sectional evaluation.

Author information

1
Israel Center for Disease Control, Israel Ministry of Health, Tel-Hashomer, Ramat-Gan, Israel. Aharona.Freedman@moh.health.gov.il.
2
Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel. Aharona.Freedman@moh.health.gov.il.
3
Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.
4
Israel Center for Disease Control, Israel Ministry of Health, Tel-Hashomer, Ramat-Gan, Israel.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Vaccinating children against influenza has shown both direct and indirect beneficial effects. However, despite being offered free of charge, childhood influenza vaccine coverage in Israel has been low. Our objective was to evaluate the factors associated with childhood influenza vaccination in Israel.

METHODS:

A cross-sectional language-specific telephone survey was conducted among adults 18 years or older, to examine childhood influenza vaccination practices and their associations with socio-demographic and relevant health variables. We further explored the reasons for these practices among parents. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with childhood influenza vaccine acceptance.

RESULTS:

Of a total of 6518 individuals contacted by mobile phone, 1165 eligible parents, ≥18 years old with children 1-18 years of age, were interviewed, and 1040 of them completed the survey successfully. Overall, factors associated with childhood influenza vaccination were younger child's age, influenza vaccination of other family members and belonging to the Arab population group. No association was found between childhood influenza vaccination and routine childhood vaccine uptake. Several of the parents' reasons for vaccine acceptance - preventing influenza or its transmission, awareness regarding the need for influenza vaccination and receipt of invitation to get vaccinated - differed significantly between Jewish and Arab parents. Several reasons reported by parents for not vaccinating children against influenza, indicated a likelihood to accept influenza vaccine outreach efforts. Such reasons were reported by 27.5% of Jewish parents and 37.5% of Arab parents.

CONCLUSIONS:

We found that certain demographic factors were associated with childhood influenza vaccination in Israel. Several reasons described by the parent for not vaccinating their children indicate that outreach efforts are likely to increase childhood influenza vaccination. Addressing population group-specific needs is recommended to optimize the success of influenza vaccine outreach efforts.

KEYWORDS:

Influenza vaccine; Influenza vaccine acceptance; Population groups

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