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Arch Hellen Med, 37(6), November-December 2019, 734-743


Vaccination and public health policies: The Greek experience

E. Brotzaki,1 G.I. Lambrou,2,3 D. Koutsouris1,3
1Post-graduate program "Health Policy and Planning", Faculty of Economics and Management, Open University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus,
2Choremeio Research Laboratory, First Department of Pediatrics, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens,
3Laboratory of Biomedical Engineering, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece

Vaccinations are considered one of the main pillars of public health. They constitute a major measure for disease prevention and their implementation is an important public health concern. Public health services have come under constant pressure during the continuing fiscal crisis in Greece, and the need for organizational reform is imperative, especially with respect to the vaccination policy. A background study was made of current vaccination data, including the vaccination rates of children against diphtheria and measles. Data were obtained from the European Statistical Authority, the Greek Statistical Authority, the UK Statistical Office, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Vaccination rates in Greece remained at high levels, reaching 99% for both diphtheria and measles. A significant positive correlation was demonstrated between diphtheria vaccination and the out-of-pocket expenditure (r=0.942), and vaccination against measles (r=0.962). The Greek fiscal crisis has created many problems in primary health care, but without serious effects on vaccination rates.

Key words: Accessibility, Primary health care, Public health expenditures, Vaccination.

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