Implementation and adherence of routine pertussis vaccination (DTP) in a low-resource urban birth cohort.


At study completion, first dose (DTP1) rates were high (92.9% of attending), whereas third dose completion (DTP3) rates were far lower (61.9%). Missed vaccinations and study dropout both contributed to the low DTP3 completion rates. DTP1 was administered very late (at or after 10 weeks) to 61 infants (4.1%). DTP1 was administered too early to 64 infants (4.3%), and 77 (5.1%) received consecutive doses below the minimum recommended spacing of 28 days.

We observe substantial individual variation in the timing of early childhood DTP doses, though following this birth cohort proved challenging. Our results indicate that timely administration of both DTP1 and DTP3 remains a challenge in this community. These directly-observed, individual-based results provide an important counterpoint to more course-grained, survey-based national and province estimates of up-to-date vaccine coverage. This study also highlights the challenges of vaccine hesitancy and suboptimal utilisation of (no-cost) healthcare services in a low-resource urban setting.

Reliable information on rates of up-to-date coverage and timely administration of routine childhood immunisations are critical for guiding public health efforts worldwide, yet prospective observation of vaccination programmes within individual communities is rare. Here, we provide a longitudinal analysis of the directly observed administration of a three-dose primary vaccination series to infants in a low-resource community in Lusaka, Zambia.

Throughout 2015, we recruited a longitudinal birth cohort of mother/infant pairs (initial enrolment, 1981 pairs; attending, 1497 pairs) from the periurban informal settlement of Chawama compound, located in Lusaka, Zambia. We prospectively monitored the administration of scheduled diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) vaccinations across the first 14-18 weeks of life. We analysed study attendance and vaccine coverage, both overall and stratified by age group. We employed Kaplan-Meier analyses to estimate delays in age-appropriate administration of vaccine doses. We also assessed schedule timing violations, including early and compressed dose administration.

MIDAS Network Members


Gunning CE, Mwananyanda L, MacLeod WB, Mwale M, Thea DM, Pieciak RC, Rohani P, Gill CJ. (2020). Implementation and adherence of routine pertussis vaccination (DTP) in a low-resource urban birth cohort. BMJ open, 10(12)