Different Reasons for Not Completing Routine Vaccinations Among Jewish and Arab Children in Israel

Anat Amit Aharon, Haim Nehama, Shmuel Rishpon, Orna Baron-Epel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Minority communities are at high risk for low childhood vaccination coverage rates. This paper compared the rate of children not fully vaccinated and the reasons for that between Jewish (majority) and Arab (minority) children in Israel. This cross-sectional study screened the medical files of 14,232 children (12,360 Jewish and 1872 Arab), registered at Mother-Child Health Clinics in two large geographical area, to identify children who did not complete the last dose of hepatitis B and DTaP or first dose of MMR vaccines. We compared the reasons for not completing the vaccine schedule registered by the nurses between Jewish and Arab children. We identified 1052 children who did not complete at least one of the vaccines: 975 Jewish children and 77 Arab children. Four causal categories were identified: medical reasons, parental decision, parental behaviour, and organizational reasons. Multinomial logistic regression analysis was performed to analyze the reasons for not completing the vaccination protocol. Arab children compared to Jewish children were more likely not to complete the vaccination protocol due to medical reasons (OR 3.81, CI 1.53–9.49) and less likely due to the reason parental decision (OR 0.35, CI 0.13–0.96). Therefore, patterns of reasons for not completing vaccinations vary, depending on population. Interventions to reduce the number of children not fully vaccinated should be tailored to the specific population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-304
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of racial and ethnic health disparities
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Israel National Institute for Health Policy Research, under Grant number 2012/149/R.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, W. Montague Cobb-NMA Health Institute.


  • Child vaccinations
  • Minority community
  • Reasons for non-vaccination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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