Influenza vaccination coverage and its associated factors among North Korean defectors living in the Republic of Korea

Gyu Song, Haewon Lee, Jinseon Yi, Min Sun Kim, Sang Min Park

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This study aimed to examine influenza vaccination coverage of North Korean defectors (NKD) in the Republic of Korea (Korea) and explore the factors affected the vaccination coverage. Total 378 NKD were analyzed. Four Korean control subjects were randomly matched by age and gender from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey V (n = 1,500). The adjusted vaccination coverage revealed no statistical difference between the defectors group and indigenous group (29.1% vs. 29.5%, P = 0.915). In the aged under 50 group, the vaccination coverage of NKD was higher than that of Korean natives (37.8% vs. 25.8%, P = 0.016). However in the aged 50 yr and over group, the vaccination coverage of North Korean defectors was lower than that of the natives (28.0% vs. 37.6%, P = 0.189). Even the gap was wider in the aged 65 yr and over group (36.4% vs. 77.8%, P = 0.007). Gender and medical check-up experience within 2 yr showed association with the vaccination coverage of NKD. Influenza vaccination coverage of aged defectors' group (aged 50 yr and over) was lower than indigenous people though overall vaccination coverage was similar. Further efforts to increase influenza vaccination coverage of this group are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1226-1231
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Korean Medical Science
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2015


  • Healthcare disparities
  • Human
  • Influenza
  • Korea
  • Refugees
  • Vaccination

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