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The Roma vaccination gap: Evidence from twelve countries in Central and South-East Europe


  • Laetitia Duval

    () (Imperial College London)

  • Francois-Charles Wolff


  • Martin Mckee

    (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine)

  • Bayard Roberts

    () (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine)


Aim: To investigate differences in vaccination coverage between Roma and otherwise comparable non-Roma children, including factors associated with the vaccination gap, health care access and discrimination faced by Roma. Methods: We analyse data from the Roma Regional Survey 2011 implemented in twelve countries of Central and SouthEast Europe. Our sample comprises 8,233 children aged up to 6 with 7,072 Roma children and 1,161 non-Roma children. Estimates of the Roma vaccination gap are estimated using Logit regressions. Results: We find that the Roma children have a lower probability of being vaccinated compared to non-Roma (odds ratio = 0.325). The odds of being vaccinated for a Roma child is 33.9% that of a non-Roma child for DPT, 34.4% for Polio, 38.6% for MMR and 45.7% for BCG. These differences do not appear to be explained entirely by their worse socioeconomic status. The ethnic gap narrows by about 50% once individual characteristics are controlled for, with odds ratios of 0.548 for DPT, 0.559 for Polio, 0.598 for MMR and 0.704 for BCG. The probability of being vaccinated increases with access to health care, especially when Roma have a doctor to approach when needed. Conclusions: Our findings point out a large difference in vaccination coverage between Roma and non-Roma and support the need for better understanding of factors influencing vaccination among Roma as well as policies that might improve services for Roma in Central and SouthEast Europe.
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Suggested Citation

  • Laetitia Duval & Francois-Charles Wolff & Martin Mckee & Bayard Roberts, 2016. "The Roma vaccination gap: Evidence from twelve countries in Central and South-East Europe," Working Papers hal-01378176, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-01378176
    DOI: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2016.10.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gabor Kertesi & Gabor Kezdi, 2011. "The Roma/Non-Roma Test Score Gap in Hungary," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 519-525, May.
    2. Maria Földes & Alina Covaci, 2012. "Research on Roma health and access to healthcare: state of the art and future challenges," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 57(1), pages 37-39, February.
    3. Deon Filmer & Lant Pritchett, 2001. "Estimating Wealth Effects Without Expenditure Data—Or Tears: An Application To Educational Enrollments In States Of India," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 38(1), pages 115-132, February.
    4. Benjamin Cook & Geoffrey Wayne & Anne Valentine & Anna Lessios & Ethan Yeh, 2013. "Revisiting the evidence on health and health care disparities among the Roma: a systematic review 2003–2012," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 58(6), pages 885-911, December.
    5. A. Colin Cameron & Douglas L. Miller, 2015. "A Practitioner’s Guide to Cluster-Robust Inference," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(2), pages 317-372.
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