Evidence of decreased HPV vaccine acceptance in Polish communities within Scotland

K.G. Pollock, B. Tait, J. Tait, K. Bielecki, A. Kirolos, L. Willocks, D.R. Gorman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
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Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines are currently utilised globally in national immunisation programmes. Many new European migrants have settled in the United Kingdom (UK) since the 2004 European Union expansion with approximately 91,000 Polish people resident in Scotland. Following anecdotal reports from several NHS Boards within Scotland of lower HPV vaccine uptake in Polish communities compared with other ethnic minorities, an extract containing both forename and surname, was taken from the Scottish Immunisation Recall System (SIRS) for all girls in S2 and S3 in school years 2014/15 to 2016/17. We then used the OnoMap algorithm software to derive ethnicity. OnoMap identified between 289 and 321 age-eligible girls as Polish with significant disparity noted for completed HPV vaccine uptake between UK (87.2–89.8%) and Polish ethnicities (69.7–77.2%) (P < 0.01). Preliminary discussions with Polish families suggest that vaccine programme differences, trust in medical/healthcare practitioners, and cultural influences may be important drivers of acceptance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)690-692
Number of pages3
Issue number5
Early online date2 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jan 2019


  • HPV
  • vaccine
  • acceptance
  • Polish immigrants
  • immunisation


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