University of Twente Student Theses


To recommend or to obligate? – How policies affect measles vaccination rates in the EU

Schmitz, Katharina T. E. (2019) To recommend or to obligate? – How policies affect measles vaccination rates in the EU.

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Abstract:The present master thesis detects whether the mandatory character of measles vaccination policies influenced the measles vaccination rates and whether this also impacted the influence of measles outbreaks and internet access on measles vaccination rates in 19 selected EU countries between 2010 and 2016. Data permitting to evaluate the relations between policies, measles outbreaks, internet use and national measles vaccination rates in the EU between 2010 and 2016 were processed in a statistical analysis. Keeping the limited statistical power of the sample in mind, the answer to the research question is that on average the mandatory measles vaccination rates among the 19 studied EU countries were higher between 2010 and 2016 in those countries with legally compulsory measles vaccinations. However, for the relationship between measles outbreaks and measles vaccination rates, the measles policy approach of a country appeared to be of small importance. Against theoretical expectation of a negative relationship, the daily internet use of individuals was not related in countries with measles vaccination recommendations and positively related to measles vaccination rates in countries with mandatory measles vaccination policies. In conclusion it can be said that differences in measles vaccination rates seem to originate less from the differences in measles vaccination policy approaches but rather from the different national political and economic trajectories. It is noticed that mandatory measles vaccination policies were only in place in countries which were under communist, Soviet power influence until few decades ago while the majority of cases of non-mandatory measles vaccination policies are formed by Western EU countries (except from Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia). Increasing measles vaccination rates and percentages in daily internet use just may reflect the situation of those experiencing the improving living standards in these countries, rather than being competing forces in the attempt of achieving measles herd immunity. Key words: measles vaccination rates, policies, EU countries, internet use, measles outbreaks Health Belief Model
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:Public Administration MSc (60020)
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