J Pediatr Infect Dis 2021; 16(02): 074-079
DOI: 10.1055/s-0041-1722972
Original Article

Reasons for Vaccine Rejection in 0 to 2 Years Old Children Registered to Family Health Centers in Konya

1  Department of Public Health, Meram Faculty of Medicine, Necmettin Erbakan University, Konya
2  Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Selcuk University, Konya
3  Konya Provincial Directorate of Health, Konya
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Objective According to the 2017 report of the World Health Organization (WHO), ∼1.5 million people die from vaccine preventable diseases. The WHO is working to generate and popularize effective vaccination programs. However, the concept of “vaccine rejection,” which first started in Europe and United States, has started to make an impact in Turkey during the past 10 years. It is therefore seen as a growing danger in future. This study was conducted to determine, detect, and prevent the reasons of vaccine rejection that have increased in recent years.

Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted between June and December at 2015. In all districts of Konya (n = 31), it was aimed to reach all 242 families who rejected vaccination to their 0 to 2 years old babies. Families having more than one child refused to vaccinate all of their children. A questionnaire consisting of 47 questions was prepared by the researchers, using the standard trainings of the Ministry of Health and the literature. A total of 172 families agreed to participate in this study. The questionnaire was applied to the parents using the telephone interview technique. Data were presented as mean ± standard deviation and percentage.

Results About 41.3% (n = 71) of the mothers were high school graduates, 50.6% (n = 87) of their fathers were university graduates. About 82.6% (n = 142) of the participants received examination, treatment and follow-up services from family physicians and family health personnel. About 20.9% (n = 36) of the children were the only children of the family. About 55.8% (n = 96) of the families also refused the vaccination for other children. About 83.7% (n = 144) of the unvaccinated children had infants/children follow-up care. While all participants stated that vaccines had side effects, 31.4% (n = 54) of these believed that vaccines cause autism or paralysis in infants. About 62.2% (n = 107) of their mothers did not receive tetanus vaccine during pregnancy. The highest rate of nonvaccination was with the second dose of hepatitis A vaccine, which 96.5% (n = 166) refused. The most accepted vaccine was the first dose of hepatitis B vaccine, which was refused by 18.0% (n = 31). About 79.7% (n = 137) of the participants did not know the reason for the vaccination and 95.9% (n = 165) thought that the vaccines were not required. All participants received information from the health personnel about the vaccines. While 9.9% (n = 17) of the families thought that vaccines cause infertility, 44.8% (n = 77) did not receive vaccination because the vaccines were produced abroad.

Conclusion A growing number of families refuse to have their babies vaccinated. The production of vaccines abroad is a major cause of insecurity. There are also beliefs that vaccines cause infertility. Vaccine production in Turkey should be accelerated and public education about vaccines should be reviewed. Training provided to families about vaccines should also be reviewed.


Eingereicht: 24. September 2020

Angenommen: 18. Dezember 2020

15. Februar 2021 (online)

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