Cartoon image of a man showing his arm where he received a vaccination

Resettled refugee children have suboptimal enrolment on the National Immunisation Register, and lower MMR coverage rates which varied significantly by visa category, highlighting the need for immunisation services to better engage with all refugee families. These findings suggest that broad structural factors related to policy and immunisation service delivery may influence the differentials seen.

The findings showed that of the 2796 children in the cohort studied, two thirds of the children (69%) were enrolled on the NIR, less than one third (30%) of those children were age-appropriately vaccinated with MMR. MMR coverage was highest among younger children and improved over time.

Logistic modelling revealed that visa category, year of arrival, and age group were significant factors that influenced NIR enrolment and MMR vaccine uptake. Those arriving via asylum seeking, family reunification and humanitarian pathways were less likely to be enrolled and vaccinated compared to refugees who entered under the national quota programme. More recent arrivals and younger children were more likely to be enrolled and vaccinated compared to children who arrived in NZ longer ago and were older.

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Funding Health Research Council of New Zealand (18/586).

Copyright © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (