Journal of Family & Community Medicine
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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 113-117

May we improve vaccine timeliness among children? A cross sectional survey in northern Saudi Arabia

Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, Jouf University, Sakakah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Umar F Dar
Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, Jouf University, P. O. Box: 2014, Sakakah
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfcm.JFCM_153_18

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BACKGROUND: The timeliness of vaccinating children is the pillar of the cost-effective strategy of decreasing the burden of many infectious diseases. Delayed immunization creates the risk of failure. There is regional variation in the rate of delayed vaccination. The purpose of present study was to determine the timeliness of vaccination and reasons for delay in vaccinating children under the age of 2 years in Sakakah, Northern Saudi Arabia. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study included 195 children under 2 years of age consecutively taken from four randomly selected primary health centers in Sakaka, Al Jouf province. A pretested proforma was used to screen the vaccination cards of the children for any delays in vaccination. Parents of children whose vaccinations had been delayed for more than 4 weeks were interviewed to determine the reasons for the delay. The reasons for delay were grouped under three different themes, i.e., child related, facility related and social issues. RESULTS: The mean age of the children was 8.6 ± 5 months; 45% were girls and 38% were first or second order babies. In our sampled population, 23% children had delayed vaccinations of more than 4 weeks. The delay was similar for both male and female children (21.5% of males and 25% of females). High education of parents, working mothers and low birth order were positively associated with timeliness of vaccine uptake (P < 0.05). Of those with delayed vaccination, only 15.6% mentioned facility or appointment related reasons; illness of the child was reported by 46.7%. CONCLUSION: There is considerable delay in vaccination of children in Sakakah, Northern Saudi Arabia. A third or more birth order of the child, parents having less than university education, and child's mother being home maker are related with increased risk of delayed vaccination.

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Journal of Family and Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 05th September, 2010