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Open AccessArticle

Socioeconomic Determinants in Vaccine Hesitancy and Vaccine Refusal in Italy

1
Hygiene and Public Health Unit, Department of Cardiac Thoracic and Vascular Sciences and Public Health, University of Padua, Via Loredan 18, 35131 Padova, Italy
2
Public Health Department, Trento Health Authority, 38123 Trento, Italy
3
Organizational Unit, Prevention and Public Health, Veneto Region, 30123 Venice, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Vaccines 2020, 8(2), 276; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines8020276
Received: 8 May 2020 / Revised: 26 May 2020 / Accepted: 2 June 2020 / Published: 5 June 2020
Childhood vaccination has been a milestone in the control of infectious diseases. However, even in countries offering equal access to vaccination, a number of vaccine-preventable diseases have re-emerged. Suboptimal vaccination coverage has been called into question. The aim was to explore socioeconomic inequalities in vaccine hesitancy and outright refusal. Families with at least one child aged between 3 months and 7 years were involved through an online survey. Families were classified as provaccine, hesitant, or antivaccine. The association between socioeconomic determinants and hesitancy/refusal was investigated with a logistic-regression model. A total of 3865 questionnaires were collected: 64.0% of families were provaccine, 32.4% hesitant, and 3.6% antivaccine. Rising levels of perceived economic hardship were associated with hesitancy (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) from 1.34 to 1.59), and lower parental education was significantly associated with refusal (AOR from 1.89 to 3.39). Family economic hardship and parental education did not move in parallel. Economic hardship was a determinant of hesitancy. Lower education was a predictor of outright refusal without affecting hesitancy. These findings may serve as warnings, and further explanations of socioeconomic inequities are needed even in universal healthcare systems. Insight into these factors is necessary to improve convenience and remove potential access issues. View Full-Text
Keywords: vaccine hesitancy; socioeconomic inequalities; childhood vaccination. vaccine hesitancy; socioeconomic inequalities; childhood vaccination.
MDPI and ACS Style

Bertoncello, C.; Ferro, A.; Fonzo, M.; Zanovello, S.; Napoletano, G.; Russo, F.; Baldo, V.; Cocchio, S. Socioeconomic Determinants in Vaccine Hesitancy and Vaccine Refusal in Italy. Vaccines 2020, 8, 276.

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