Differences in uptake of immunisations and health examinations among refugee children compared to Danish-born children: a cohort study

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Sanne Pagh Moller, Anders Hjern, Anne-Marie Nybo Andersen, Marie Norredam

Refugee children and their families constitute a vulnerable group regarding health and access to care. In a register-based cohort design, we examined differences in uptake of immunisations and child health examinations between refugee children and Danish-born children, including predictors of uptake among refugee children. Refugee children (n = 16,701) who, between January 1993 and December 2010, obtained residency permits in Denmark were included and matched in a 1:6 ratio on age and sex with Danish-born children (n = 100,206). Personal identification numbers were cross-linked to the National Danish Health Service Register, identifying all contacts for immunisation and child health examinations. We estimated hazard ratios (HR) of uptake. Refugee children had a lower uptake of all immunisations compared to Danish-born children. The lowest uptake was found for immunisation against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio (HR = 0.50; 95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.48–0.51). Participation in child health examinations was also lower among refugee children with the lowest at the last child health examination at age 5 (HR = 0.48; 95 % CI 0.47–0.50). Adjusting the analysis for parental income increased the HRs by 10–20 %.

Conclusion: This Danish register-based study using nationwide data revealed a lower uptake of routine immunisations and child health examinations among refugee children compared to Danish-born children.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Volume175
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)539-549
Number of pages11
ISSN0340-6199
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016

    Research areas

  • Access, Child healthcare, Immunisations, Refugee, Children, Register-based, Migration

ID: 160973020