Assessment of vaccine coverage of schoolchildren in three primary health care areas in rural Crete, Greece

Fam Pract. 1998 Oct;15(5):443-8. doi: 10.1093/fampra/15.5.443.


Objective: A school-based immunization survey was used to assess vaccination coverage of a population of children in the region of three Primary Health Care Centres in rural Crete.

Methods: The medical charts of 771 (92.6% of the total) students attending primary schools at the municipalities of Archanes and Hersonissos in the district of Heraklion, and Neapolis in the district of Lasithi, as well as the charts of 438 (68.9% of the total) students attending the secondary school at Neapolis, Lasithi, were obtained. The immunization records from these charts were then compiled and analysed. All information was based on the standardized procedures of the Spili Health Centre, Crete. The age-specific vaccination rate was calculated for children of both primary and secondary school age.

Results: The vaccination coverage against diphtheria and tetanus was high (82%, 1035 pupils had received the fifth dose) for both groups of students, while the coverage for pertussis was incomplete, especially the fifth dose, which had been received by only 17% (n = 131) of the children of primary school age and 4.3% (n = 19) of the children of secondary school age. In total, 638 of the children of primary school age (82.7%) and 257 (58.7%) of the children of secondary school age were immunized against measles. The corresponding numbers and the percentages of children of primary and secondary school age immunized against mumps and rubella were: 75.6% (n = 583) and 36.3% (n = 159) for mumps, and 74.7% (n = 576) and 32% (n = 140) for rubella.

Conclusion: Immunization coverage of schoolchildren in the studied areas is inadequate in a number of instances. This appears to be most pronounced in children of secondary school age. The school-based immunization survey, which is an accurate and inexpensive tool for assessing vaccination coverage, is suggested as an appropriate means for primary health care workers in Greece to develop further and increase the immunization rate.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Child
  • Family Practice*
  • Female
  • Greece
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Rural Health*
  • Students / statistics & numerical data*
  • Vaccination / statistics & numerical data*