Timely childhood vaccination in Israel: a national retrospective study of ethnic and socioeconomic disparities

Vicki Myers*, Mor Saban, Liora Valinsky, Osnat Luxenburg, Rachel Wilf-Miron

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A large proportion of children do not receive vaccines within the recommended timeframe. This study examined ethnic and socioeconomic differences in age-appropriate immunization of children in Israel, where immunization is freely available. Percent of children receiving MMR/V at 12–13 months, and four doses of DTP/IPV/Hib by 18 months were obtained from the National Programme for Quality Measures between 2015 and 2018. Ethnic group (Jewish vs Arab) (defined by proxy by the neighbourhood in which the clinic was located), neighbourhood socioeconomic status and peripherality were obtained. Rates of MMR vaccination were 61% in the Jewish and 82% in the Arab population; for DPT/IPV/Hib 75% in the Jewish, compared to 92% in the Arab population. These patterns were stable over time. Lowest rates occurred in the most peripheral areas for Arab children, and in urban areas for Jewish children. Differences between ethnic groups were significant at higher SES levels. Greater adherence to the vaccination schedule occurred in the Arab minority in contrast to studies showing lower vaccination in ethnic minorities elsewhere. Lower immunization rates among rural Arab children suggest a need for improved access to clinics. Efforts should be directed towards lower SES groups, while emphasizing the importance of timely vaccination in wealthier groups in order to achieve herd immunity.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberdaab172
JournalHealth Promotion International
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2023


  • adherence to schedule
  • children
  • ethnic minority
  • timely immunization
  • vaccination


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