Completion, timeliness, and under - vaccination of childhood vaccinations in a nomadic pastoralist community of Kenya

Anne M. Pertet, Dan Kaseje, Careena O. Odawa, Jackline Ochieng, Lydia Kirika, Caleb Wanjala, Millicent Jaoko, Winnie Otieno, Dan Odindo


Background: Children from nomadic pastoralist communities might not receive all the recommended doses of vaccines at age-appropriate times due to limited access to immunization services.  Skipped, delayed or missed vaccination doses result in under vaccination which in turn make children vulnerable to preventable diseases.  The purpose of present study was to establish completion timeliness and under-vaccination of all the recommended childhood vaccinations in a nomadic pastoralist community.

Methods: Authors used a cluster sampling technique to identify children aged 0 to 24 months at the household level.  Vaccine completion was the accumulation of the required number of doses by infants irrespective of the timing. Timeliness was vaccines administered within the recommended age range. Under vaccination was the sum total of days a delayed vaccine was given after the recommended age range.

Results: Completion of all individual antigens did not meet the target of 90%. The mean number of days a child remained under-vaccinated in days was: OPV0, 20 days; BCG, 39 days; measles vaccine, 47 days; PVC3, 121 days; pentavalent, 117 days, and rotavirus, 103 days.  Approximately 42% were severely under-vaccinated for more than six months. Vaccine-specific under-vaccination of more than six months was:  pentavalent 3, 20%; PCV 3, 14%; OPV 3, 9.5%; BCG, 3%, and measles vaccine 20%. Overall children remained under-vaccinated for 185 days.

Conclusions: A significant proportion of children remained under vaccinated for extended periods leaving them at risk during a vulnerable period of their life.


Childhood vaccinations, Completion, Nomadic pastoralist, Timeliness, Under-vaccination

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