Factors influencing the uptake of childhood immunisation in rural areas

Robert Henderson, H. M. Macdonald, William Cairns Stewart Smith, Sivasubramaniam Selvaraj, K. Oates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Childhood vaccination has been vigorously debated in recent years. Professional and parental confidence in the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine in particular has been shaken, as reflected by its decreased uptake.

Aim. To investigate the influence of practice type and the method of vaccination call/recall on childhood immunisation coverage.

Design: Analysis of childhood immunisation uptake rates.

Setting. General practices in the Highland NHS Health Board area in Scotland

Method: Data on the immunisation uptake of individual practices in the region were obtained from the Information and Statistics Division of NHS Scotland.

Results. uptake of all vaccines in children reaching the age of 2 years was lower in practices using their own call/recall system than those engaged with the national system. Inducement practices achieved lower uptake than non-inducement practices for every immunisation studied, with the differences ranging from 4.7% to 7.8%. compared with group practices, uptake of all vaccines was less for single-handed practices, with the differences ranging from 2,4961 to 11.4%. A logistic regression analysis found that high uptake of the diphtheria and meningococcus group C vaccines by the age of 24 months was significant v associated with use of the national call/recall system. only inducement practice status was significantly associated with reduced uptake in children aged 12 months.

Conclusions.. Engagement with the national call/recall system was associated with higher immunisation coverage for children reaching the age of 2 years. inducement status was associated with low uptake of vaccinations in children reaching the age of I year.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-118
Number of pages4
JournalThe British Journal of General Practice
Issue number499
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • immunisation
  • immunisation coverage
  • primary health care


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