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Association of vaccine hesitancy and immunization coverage rates in the European Union

Stoeckel, Florian, Carter, Charlie, Lyons, Benjamin A. and Reifler, Jason (2021) Association of vaccine hesitancy and immunization coverage rates in the European Union. Vaccine, 39 (29). 3935 - 3939. ISSN 0264-410X

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2021.05.062

Abstract

While previous studies have validated vaccine hesitancy scales with uptake behavior at the individual level, the conditions under which aggregated survey data are useful are less clear. We show that vaccine public opinion data aggregated at the subnational level can serve as a valid indicator of aggregate vaccine behaviour. We use a public opinion survey (Eurobarometer EB 91.2) with data on vaccine hesitancy for the EU in 2019. We link this information to (subnational) regional immunization coverage rates for childhood vaccines – DTP3, MCV1, and MCV2 – obtained from the WHO for 2019. We conduct multilevel regression analyses with data for 177 regions in 20 countries. Given the variation in vaccine hesitancy and immunization rates between countries and within countries, we affirm the valuable role that surveys can play as a public health surveillance tool when it comes to vaccine behavior. We find statistically significantly lower regional vaccine immunization rates in regions where vaccine hesitancy is more pronounced. Our results suggest that different uptake rates across subnational regions are due, at least in part, to differences in attitudes towards vaccines and vaccination. The results are robust to several alternative specifications.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/vaccine
Additional Information: © 2021 Elsevier Ltd.
Divisions: International Relations
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2021 07:24
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2021 01:11
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/110939

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