Objective: To determine the association between parents’ level of education and delay in vaccination among infants and toddlers. Study design: A case–control study done in 2015-2016. Charts of 2- to 4-year-old children vaccinated in 5 neighborhood Maternal-Child Health Centers (MCHCs) in southern Israel were examined for demographic variables. Five vaccination opportunities between age 7 months and 18 months were selected to test for delays. In each MCHC, children vaccinated at the longest time-period after planned vaccination dose (fifth quintile) were compared with those vaccinated during the middle quintile. Using this relative delay approach rather than absolute delay approach permitted us to adjust the findings to the prevailing environmental and to cultural and programmatic variations between the various neighborhoods. Each of the planned vaccination visits and overall, demographic and health behavior-related variables that were significantly associated to delays by univariate analysis were tested by multivariate analysis and further adjusted by using stepwise logistic regression, using goodness of fit measures. Results: Data for 2072 subjects were collected (398-426 per MCHC). Fathers’ education was not associated with delays. In contrast, mothers’ education was inversely associated with the probability of vaccination delay by 4%-9% (depending on the vaccination visit) for each year of schooling beyond 10 years. Conclusion: Using the relative delay approach, we demonstrated that maternal education, measured by schooling years, was independently inversely associated with risk of vaccination delay. This suggests that education can be regarded as an important positive component of the overall disease prevention planning at national and global levels.
- health behavior