Vaccination coverage among Dutch orthodox Protestants is increasing over time, as was recently published in the European Journal of Public Health. RIHS-researchers Jeannine Hautvast and Alma Tostmann (Dept of Primary and Community Care) together with Helma Ruijs and Henri Spaan (Regional Public Health Service, GGD Gelderland-Zuid) have collected data from almost 1000 orthodox Protestants between of 18-40 years of age.
Their study showed that 55% of the respondents had been vaccinated as a child; a 15% increase compared to their parents. About 65% of respondents vaccinated or intends to vaccinate their (future) children. This increase over the generations was observed within each level of religious conservatism.
The Netherlands experienced several outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases, largely confined to an orthodox Protestant minority group, the most recent one being the measles outbreak in 2013/2014. Based on religious arguments some orthodox Protestants accept vaccination, while others refuse. The researchers found that estimated vaccination coverage in subsequent generations of orthodox Protestants and identified determinants of the intention to vaccinate their (future) children is increasing over time.
Eur J Public Health. 2017. Increase in vaccination coverage between subsequent generations of orthodox Protestants in The Netherlands. Spaan DH, Ruijs WL, Hautvast JL, Tostmann A
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