Can investments in health systems strategies lead to changes in immunization coverage?
Expert Review of Vaccines (Impact Factor: 4.21). 03/2014; 13(4). DOI: 10.1586/14760584.2014.892832
National immunization programs in developing countries have made major strides to immunize the world's children, increasing full coverage to 83% of children. However, the World Health Organization estimates that 22 million children less than five years of age are left unvaccinated, and coverage levels have been plateauing for nearly a decade. This paper describes the evidence on factors contributing to low vaccination uptake, and describes the connection between these factors and the documented strategies and interventions that can lead to changes in immunization outcomes. The author suggests that investments in these areas may contribute more effectively to immunization coverage and also have positive spill-over benefits for health systems. The paper concludes that while some good quality evidence exists of what works and may contribute to immunization outcomes, the quality of evidence needs to improve and major gaps need to be addressed.
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ABSTRACT: Pay-for-performance, also called the quality system (QS) in Estonia, was implemented in 2006 and one indicator for achievement is the childhood immunisation coverage rate. The WHO vaccination coverage in Europe for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis, and measles in children aged around one year old should meet or exceed 90 per cent. The study was conducted using a database from the Estonian Health Insurance Fund. The study compared childhood immunisation coverage rates of all Estonian family physicians in two groups, joined and not joined to the quality system during the observation period 2006-2012. Immunisation coverage was calculated as the percentage of persons in the target age group who received a vaccine dose by a given age. The target level of immunisations in Estonia is set at 90 per cent and higher. Immunisation coverage rates of family doctors (FD) in Estonia showed significant differences between two groups of doctors: joined to the quality system and not joined. Doctors joined to the quality system met the 90 per cent vaccination criterion more frequently compared to doctors not joined to the quality system. Doctors not joined to the quality system were below the 90 per cent vaccination criterion in all vaccinations listed in the Estonian State Immunisation Schedule. Pay-for-performance as a financial incentive encourages higher levels of childhood immunisations. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
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