Vaccination rates in a multicultural population

Arch Dis Child. 2005 Jan;90(1):36-40. doi: 10.1136/adc.2003.047126.


Aims: To establish whether there are social or cultural groups of children in Amsterdam with relatively low vaccination coverage for diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, and poliomyelitis (DPTP), and for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR).

Methods: All of the 57,382 children aged between 5 and 12 years and living in Amsterdam on 1 January 2003 were analysed with respect to vaccination and sociodemographic data collected routinely by the Department of Child Health Care. The State Vaccination Programme (SVP) guidelines were adhered to in order to determine vaccination status.

Results: The overall respective DPTP and MMR vaccination rates were 93.0% and 93.9%. No great differences in vaccination levels were found between depressed and affluent areas or between the children of Dutch and non-Dutch mothers. However, foreign children who had been born abroad (Surinam, Morocco, Turkey) were most likely not to have been fully vaccinated. Children who attended anthroposophical schools were also found to be considerably less frequently fully immunised than those at other types of schools.

Conclusions: Vaccination coverage for children domiciled in Amsterdam was very high. Nevertheless, there are groups where the vaccination level is relatively low and social contact is high.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Culture
  • Diphtheria Toxoid / administration & dosage*
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis Vaccine / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine / administration & dosage*
  • Morocco / ethnology
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / ethnology*
  • Pertussis Vaccine / administration & dosage*
  • Poliovirus Vaccine, Inactivated / administration & dosage*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Suriname / ethnology
  • Tetanus Toxoid / administration & dosage*
  • Turkey / ethnology
  • Vaccination / statistics & numerical data*
  • Vaccines, Combined / administration & dosage*


  • DTPP vaccine
  • Diphtheria Toxoid
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis Vaccine
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine
  • Pertussis Vaccine
  • Poliovirus Vaccine, Inactivated
  • Tetanus Toxoid
  • Vaccines, Combined