Assessing Vaccination Coverage Rates in Nigeria

Credit: Annie Spratt

Vaccines are one of the most effective ways to prevent diseases and protect children's health. In Nigeria, the government has been making efforts to increase vaccination coverage to protect children against vaccine-preventable childhood diseases. The latest Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) conducted in 2021 showed that 63.7% of children aged 12-23 months were currently vaccinated against vaccine-preventable childhood diseases.

The crude coverage of vaccination against vaccine-preventable childhood diseases refers to the percentage of children who have received at least one dose of any vaccine recommended by the national immunization program. The coverage rates are an important indicator of the effectiveness of the immunization program and the level of protection provided to the population against vaccine-preventable diseases.

The MICS report indicated that vaccination coverage against vaccine-preventable childhood diseases is slightly higher among males (63.8%) than females (63.6%). However, the difference is not significant enough to conclude that one gender is receiving more immunization than the other. It is crucial to ensure that both genders receive equal access to immunization services to prevent any gender bias in the coverage rates.

The report also showed that the vaccination coverage rates are higher in urban areas (78.2%) than rural areas (55.5%). The disparity in vaccination coverage between urban and rural areas can be attributed to factors such as access to healthcare services, education, and socioeconomic status. The government and health authorities need to take steps to address these challenges and ensure that children in rural areas have access to immunization services.

It is essential to note that the immunization coverage rates reported in the MICS survey are below the target set by the government. The National Immunization Coverage Target is 90% for Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Hepatitis B, and Haemophilus Influenza Type b (DTP-HepB-Hib) vaccine. Therefore, there is a need for further efforts to improve the coverage rates to achieve the target set by the government.

The data showed that there is a clear relationship between the mother's education level and the vaccination coverage rates of children aged 12-23 months.