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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Public Health 1/2015

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

BMC Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2015
Irene A. Harmsen, Helien Bos, Robert A. C. Ruiter, Theo G. W. Paulussen, Gerjo Kok, Hester E. de Melker, Liesbeth Mollema
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

IH and HB developed the study design, and performed the data collection, data analysis and wrote the manuscript. LM, HdM, RR, TP and GK discussed the study and focus group design. All authors contributed to the draft of the final manuscript; their remarks were discussed and processed into the final version that was finally approved by all authors.



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.


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.


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.


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.
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