A post-conflict vaccination campaign, Central African Republic

Bulletin of the World Health Organization
Volume 96, Number 8, August 2018, 513-588

A post-conflict vaccination campaign, Central African Republic
– Nicolas Peyraud, Michel Quéré, Geraldine Duc, Corinne Chèvre, Theo Wanteu, Souheil Reache, Thierry Dumont, Robin Nesbitt, Ellen Dahl, Etienne Gignoux, Manuel Albela, Anna Righetti, Marie-Claude Bottineau, Jean-Clément Cabrol, Micaela Sarafini, Samuel Nzalapan, Pauline Lechevalier, Clotilde Rambaud & Monica Rull
To rapidly increase childhood immunization through a preventive, multi-antigen, vaccination campaign in Mambéré-Kadéï prefecture, Central African Republic, where a conflict from 2012 to 2015 reduced vaccination coverage.
The three-round campaign took place between December 2015 and June 2016 using: (i) oral poliomyelitis vaccine (OPV); (ii) combined diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP) vaccine, Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) and hepatitis B (DTP–Hib–hepatitis B) vaccine; (iii) pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV); (iv) measles vaccine; and (v) yellow fever vaccine. Administrative data were collected on vaccines administered by age group and vaccination coverage surveys were carried out before and after the campaign.
Overall, 294,054 vaccine doses were administered. Vaccination coverage for children aged 6 weeks to 59 months increased to over 85% for the first doses of OPV, DTP–Hib–hepatitis B vaccine and PCV and, in children aged 9 weeks to 59 months, to over 70% for the first measles vaccine dose. In children aged 6 weeks to 23 months, coverage of the second doses of OPV, DTP–Hib–hepatitis B vaccine and PCV was over 58% and coverage of the third doses of OPV and DTP–Hib–hepatitis B vaccine was over 20%. Moreover, 61% (5804/9589) of children aged 12 to 23 months had received two PCV doses and 90% (25933/28764) aged 24 to 59 months had received one dose.
A preventive, multi-antigen, vaccination campaign was effective in rapidly increasing immunization coverage in a post-conflict setting. To sustain high coverage, routine immunization must be reinforced.