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Background: Childhood immunization has significantly reduced the incidence of vaccine preventable diseases. Parental mistrust over vaccine safety has been associated with vaccine refusal creating barriers on vaccine coverage. Recently, economic crisis has imposed additional impediment. Methods: Study aim was to evaluate vaccine coverage among infants 2-24 months old in the Athens metropolitan area at the beginning of the economic crisis (2009-2011). Results: Overall, 1,667 infants were enrolled (mean age 13 months). Less than 5% of parents admitted omitting or postponing vaccination secondary to their beliefs. Although vaccination coverage was acceptable for most vaccines, lower rates of immunization were found for some newer vaccines such as hepatitis A and rotavirus. Multiple regression analysis indicated that parental age, occupational, educational statuses and family size were independently associated with immunization coverage at 6 and 12 months. Interestingly, lack of insurance was not associated with missed vaccine doses. Conclusion: Incomplete vaccination coverage was associated with socioeconomic factors. It becomes apparent, that reassessing vaccination priorities under the current economic situation may be needed.
Vassiliki, P., Ioanna, K., Artemis, V., Eleni, K., Aglaia, Z., Attilakos, A., … Dimitris, K. (2014). Determinants of vaccination coverage and adherence to the Greek national immunization program among infants aged 2-24 months at the beginning of the economic crisis (2009-2011). BMC Public Health, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-14-1192