Vaccine Decision-Making and Vaccine Acceptance among orthodox Protestants in the Netherlands

Thursday 8 June 2023, 10:30 am
PhD student
A.C. de Munter
prof. dr. M.E.J.L. Hulscher, prof. dr. R. Ruiter
dr. J.L.A. Hautvast, dr. W.L.M. Ruijs

The orthodox Protestant community in the Netherlands is known as a subgroup with low vaccination acceptance, which make them at higher risk of outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases. This thesis shows that unvaccinated orthodox Protestant adolescents and young adults who lived in a less conservative orthodox Protestant environment during a measles epidemic in childhood were more likely not to have been infected with measles as child, leading to measles infection later in life, accompanied by a higher risk of complications. Unvaccinated women have are at risk to be infected with rubella during pregnancy, which can result in severe complications in the unborn child. This thesis found that more than half of the orthodox Protestant women was undecided whether she would accept a rubella antibody test if offered. This thesis also shows that many orthodox Protestant women doubt whether to accept or refuse vaccination when they are offered a rubella or pertussis vaccination to protect themselves and their unborn or newborn child from these infectious diseases. The research findings provide insight into what medical and religious information orthodox Protestant women need, and how they want to reach a vaccination decision through conversations with relatives, friends and health care providers and through careful deliberation.

Anne de Munter-Mulder (1987) worked from 2010-2020 as public health nurse at GGD Gelderland-Zuid. From 2014 she also works as researcher. Since 2020, she works as project leader at GGD GHOR Nederland. In 2013 she obtained her Master's degree in Clinical Heath Sciences at the Utrecht University. In 2014 she started with a first study, ultimately resulting in a PhD position at academic workplace AMPHI at the Radboudumc.