Reasons related to non-vaccination and under-vaccination of children in low and middle income countries: Findings from a systematic review of the published literature, 1999-2009
ABSTRACT Despite increases in routine vaccination coverage during the past three decades, the percent of children completing the recommended vaccination schedule remains below expected targets in many low and middle income countries. In 2008, the World Health Organization Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization requested more information on the reasons that children were under-vaccinated (receiving at least one but not all recommended vaccinations) or not vaccinated in order to develop effective strategies and interventions to reach these children.
A systematic review of the peer-reviewed literature published from 1999 to 2009 was conducted to aggregate information on reasons and factors related to the under-vaccination and non-vaccination of children. A standardized form was used to abstract information from relevant articles identified from eight different medical, behavioural and social science literature databases.
Among 202 relevant articles, we abstracted 838 reasons associated with under-vaccination; 379 (45%) were related to immunization systems, 220 (26%) to family characteristics, 181 (22%) to parental attitudes and knowledge, and 58 (7%) to limitations in immunization-related communication and information. Of the 19 reasons abstracted from 11 identified articles describing the non-vaccinated child, 6 (32%) were related to immunization systems, 8 (42%) to parental attitudes and knowledge, 4 (21%) to family characteristics, and 1 (5%) to communication and information.
Multiple reasons for under-vaccination and non-vaccination were identified, indicating that a multi-faceted approach is needed to reach under-vaccinated and unvaccinated children. Immunization system issues can be addressed through improving outreach services, vaccine supply, and health worker training; however, under-vaccination and non-vaccination linked to parental attitudes and knowledge are more difficult to address and likely require local interventions.
SourceAvailable from: Lea Lafave[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Although global efforts to support routine immunization (RI) system strengthening have resulted in higher immunization rates, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the proportion of children receiving recommended DPT3 vaccines has stagnated at 80% for the past 3 years (WHO Fact sheet-Immunization coverage 2014, WHO, 2014). Meeting the WHO goal of 90% national DPT3 coverage may require locally based strategies to support conventional approaches. The Africa Routine Immunization Systems Essentials-System Innovation (ARISE-SI) initiative is a proof-of-concept study to assess the application of the Microsystems Quality Improvement Approach for generating local solutions to strengthen RI systems and reach those unreached by current efforts in Masaka District, Uganda. The ARISE-SI intervention had three components: health unit (HU) advance preparations, an action learning collaborative, and coaching of improvement teams. The intervention was informed and assessed using qualitative and quantitative methods. Data collection focused on changes and outcomes of improvement efforts among five HUs and one district-level team during the intervention (June 2011-February 2012) and five follow-up months. Workshops and team meetings had a 95% attendance rate. All teams gained RI system knowledge and implemented changes to address locally identified problems. Specific changes included: RI register implementation and expanded use, Child Health Card provision and monitoring, staff cross-training, staffing pattern changes, predictable outreach schedules, and health system leader-community leader meetings. Several RI system barriers prevalent across Masaka District (e.g., lack of backup HU gas cylinders, inadequate outreach transportation, and village health team underutilization) were successfully addressed. Three of five HUs significantly increased the vaccines administered. All improvements were sustained 5 months post-intervention. External evaluation validated the findings of high levels of participant engagement, empowerment to make change, and willingness to sustain improvements. The Microsystems Quality Improvement Approach is a comprehensive approach, grounded in systems thinking, and coupled with intensive coaching. It provides a robust framework for engaging teams in the development of unique local solutions that strengthen RI systems in resource poor settings. The sustained improvements in local RI systems from this study provide evidence that this approach may be an effective framework for enhancing the WHO's Reaching Every District (RED) immunization strategy.Implementation Science 12/2015; 10(1):215. DOI:10.1186/s13012-015-0215-3 · 3.47 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The Pan American Health Organization recently developed a practical guide for evaluating missed opportunities for vaccination among children aged <5 years. A missed opportunity occurs when an individual eligible for vaccination has contact with a health facility and does not receive a needed vaccine, despite having no contraindications. In this article, we discuss the strengths and limitations of this new methodology and present lessons learned from recent studies on undervaccination in Latin America. Our findings should be useful to countries embarking on assessing the magnitude and the causes of missed opportunities for vaccination children experience at health facilities.BMC International Health and Human Rights 12/2015; 15(1). DOI:10.1186/s12914-015-0043-1 · 1.44 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background Vaccination Week in the Americas (VWA) is an annual initiative in countries and territories of the Americas every April to highlight the work of national expanded programs on immunization (EPI) and increase access to vaccination services for high-risk population groups. In 2011, as part of VWA, Venezuela targeted children aged less than 6 years in 25 priority border municipalities using social mobilization to increase institution-based vaccination. Implementation of social communication activities was decentralized to the local level. We conducted a survey in one border municipality of Venezuela to evaluate the outcome of VWA 2011 and provide a snapshot of the overall performance of the routine EPI at that level. Methods We conducted a coverage survey, using stratified cluster sampling, in the Venezuelan municipality of Bolivar (bordering Colombia) in August 2011. We collected information for children aged <6 years through caregiver interviews and transcription of vaccination card data. We estimated each child’s eligibility to receive a specific vaccine dose during VWA 2011 and whether or not they were actually vaccinated during VWA activities. We also estimated baseline vaccination coverage, timeliness and 95% confidence intervals (CI), and used chi-square tests to compare coverage across age cohorts, taking into account the sampling design. Results We surveyed 839 children from 698 households; 93% of children had a vaccination card. Among households surveyed, 216 (31%) caregivers reported having heard about a vaccination activity during April or May 2011. Of the 528 children eligible to receive a vaccine during VWA, 24% received at least one dose, while 13% received all doses due. Overall, baseline coverage with routine vaccines, as measured by the survey, was >85%, with a few exceptions. Conclusion Low levels of VWA awareness among caregivers probably contributed to the limited vaccination of eligible children during the VWA activities in Bolivar in 2011. However, vaccine coverage for most EPI vaccines was high. Additionally, high vaccination card availability and high participation in VWA among those caregivers aware of it in 2011 suggest public trust in the EPI program in the municipality. Health authorities have used survey findings to inform changes to the routine EPI and better VWA implementation in subsequent years.BMC Public Health 04/2015; 15. DOI:10.1186/s12889-015-1723-4 · 2.32 Impact Factor