Study: Low vaccination rate in Amish children linked to hospitalization
MelissaJenco, News Content Editor
Amish children were hospitalized for vaccine-preventable diseases (VPD) at significantly
higher rates than other children, researchers found.
“Most, but not all, of this increased risk was driven by differences in vaccination
coverage,” authors wrote in the study “Vaccine Preventable Diseases Requiring Hospitalization”
(Williamson G, et al. Pediatrics. Aug. 2, 2017, https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2017-0298).
Researchers studied Penn State Children’s Hospital’s medical records for children
under 18 who were diagnosed with a VPD from 2005-’15. Children were classified as
Plain (Amish and Mennonite) or non-Plain, although when looking at rates, researchers
did not have enough data to include the Mennonite population.
Roughly 92% of the Plain children in the study were unvaccinated compared to 17% of
the non-Plain children.
During the study period, 215 children were hospitalized with 221 VPDs. About 93% of
these children were unvaccinated or immunocompromised, except for those with pneumococcal
infections, according to the research.
While 81% of the hospitalized children were non-Plain, Amish children were hospitalized
for VPD at more than twice their rate.