Childhood Immunization Coverage and Correlates for Low Vaccine Uptake in Ungogo, Northern Nigeria
Authors: Zubairu Iliyasu, Isa S. Abubakar, Mohammed Kabir, Faisal Shuaib and Muktar H. Aliyu
Abstract: Childhood immunization is one of the most cost-effective public health interventions. This study assessed childhood immunization coverage and correlates for low vaccine uptake in northern Nigeria. Methods: A cluster sampling design was used to select 30 settlements from the study area. Survey data was collected using a pretested questionnaire administered to caregivers of 210 children ages 12 to 23 months. Results: Overall, 40.5% of the children were fully immunized having received a dose of BCG, three doses of OPV and DPT, and a dose of measles antigen. Thirty five percent and 24.5% of the children were partially and not immunized, respectively. The coverage rate for BCG was 64.8% in the study area. The coverage for DPT1, DPT2 and DPT3 were 47.1%, 44.8% and 41.0% respectively. The coverage for OPV0, OPV1, OPV2 and OPV3 were respectively 61.0%, 53.3%, 64.3% and 58.6%. Measles vaccine coverage was 61.4%. Significant predictors of a child’s vaccination status were maternal and paternal education and place of birth. The major reasons for non-immunization included ignorance (29.2%), fear or misconceptions of side effects (16.9%), unavailability of vaccines (13.5%), travel (7.9%), and lack of awareness of the need for subsequent doses (7.5%). Conclusion: The low vaccine coverage requires innovative methods of vaccine delivery, strengthening of routine immunization and health education.