Volume 36, Issue 11 Pages 1323-1520 (7 March 2018)
Vaccination timeliness and co-administration among Kenyan children
Original research article
Nina B. Masters, Abram L. Wagner, Bradley F. Carlson, Matthew L. Boulton
Timely administration of recommended vaccines requires children to have multiple vaccines co-administered in the first year of life. The objectives of this study were to estimate the proportion of timely vaccinations and the proportion of co-administered vaccines, and to assess the relationship between vaccine co-administration and vaccine timeliness in Kenyan children.
Using the 2014 Kenyan Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), we calculated the proportion of children who received co-administered and timely vaccine doses. Co-administration was defined as doses administered on the same day with dates recorded on vaccination cards. Vaccines were considered timely if given within four days before to four weeks after the recommended interval for administration.
10,385 children aged 1–4 years in the Kenyan 2014 DHS dataset had vaccination cards which comprised the study sample. Analysis revealed wide a range for receipt of timely doses, from 90.2% for OPV0 to 56.0% for Measles. Co-administration of the 6-week dose was associated with 2.81 times higher odds of a timely Penta dose 1 (95% CI: 2.28, 3.46) and birth-dose co-administration was associated with a substantial increase in timely BCG vaccination: AOR 7.43 (95% CI: 6.31, 8.75).
Though vaccine coverage in Kenya was high, timely vaccination was markedly low, with resultant implications for population immunity and potential spread of communicable diseases in unvaccinated infants. Co-administration of vaccines, place of residence, wealth index, and child age were consistently related to the odds of timely vaccine receipt. These relationships reinforce the importance of dedicating resources to programs that educate low socio-economic groups about the importance of vaccine co-administration.