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Tailoring Immunization Programmes: using patient file data to explore vaccination uptake and associated factors.

Abstract

Vaccination uptake in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is suboptimal. This study aimed to (1) assess vaccination coverage, timeliness and drop-out for children born in 2015 and 2016 and compare these with official administrative coverage estimates, (2) identify associations between characteristics of children/caregivers and vaccination uptake. This was a cross-sectional study based on patient files for children 12-23 months (n = 1800) and 24-35 months (n = 1800). Methods were adapted from the World Health Organization cluster survey methodology. A two-stage stratified sampling procedure was conducted in urban and rural strata. A structured paper-based form was completed by a pediatrician/nurse from randomly selected primary care centers and patient files. Estimates were based on weighted analysis with a 95% confidence interval to account for the survey sampling design. Vaccination coverage was consistent with administrative coverage levels for BCG, DTP and MMR, and lower for HepB; all considerably lower than regional targets. Children in urban areas had lower vaccination uptake. An assumption that anti-vaccination sentiment prevails among caregivers was not confirmed; only 2% of children were not vaccinated at all, instead challenges related to delays and drop-out. An assumption of caregiver concerns for the MMR vaccine was confirmed with low uptake and delays. The FBiH has experienced vaccination schedule changes due to supply issues; findings confirmed that sustainability in supply and schedule is high priority. These data are new and provide important information for developing strategies to increase uptake.

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