Vaccination decision-making of immigrant parents in the Netherlands : a focus group study

I.A. Harmsen*, H. Bos, R.A.C. Ruiter, T.G.W Paulussen, G. Kok, H.E. de Melker, L. Mollema

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Although the vaccination coverage in most high income countries is high, variations in coverage rates on the national level among different ethnic backgrounds are reported. A qualitative study was performed to explore factors that influence decision-making among parents with different ethnic backgrounds in the Netherlands. Methods: Six focus groups were conducted with 33 mothers of Moroccan, Turkish and other ethnic backgrounds with at least one child aged 0-4 years. Data were analysed using thematic analysis. Results: Parents had a positive attitude towards childhood vaccination and a high confidence in the advices of Child Vaccine Providers (CVPs). Vaccinating their children was perceived as self-evident and important. Parents do perceive a language barrier in understanding the provided NIP-information, and they had a need for more NIP-information, particularly about the targeted diseases. Another barrier parents perceived was the distance to the Child Welfare Center (CWC), especially when the weather was bad and when they had no access to a car. Conclusion: More information about targeted diseases and complete information regarding benefits and drawbacks of the NIP should be provided to the parents. To fulfill parents' information needs, NIP information meetings can be organized at CWCs in different languages. Providing NIP information material in Turkish, Arabic and Berber language with easy access is also recommended. Providing information tailored to these parents' needs is important to sustain high vaccination participation, and to ensure acceptance of future vaccinations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1229
JournalBMC Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


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