Objective: The objective of this study was to explore the status and demographic determinants of completion rates of routine EPI immunization among children in District Bhakkar.
Study Design:Cross-sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: This study was conducted, from April to July 2017, at the District Headquarter Hospital (DHQ) in Bhakkar district.
Material and Methods: Data was collected through non probability convenience sampling. All parents of children between the age of 18 to 24 months visiting the pediatric outpatient department of DHQ Hospital Bhakkar were interviewed. They were asked about the status of vaccination of their children and adherence to routine EPI schedule using a pretested questionnaire. All data were analyzed in SPSS v.20.
Results: A total of 961 respondents agreed to participate in this study. A majority of the children were females and belonged to the rural areas of Bhakkar. A total of 342 (35.59%) children were unvaccinated. Out of these 342 unvaccinated children, a total of 209 children (61.11%) were partially vaccinated while the rest (n=133, 38.89%) had received no vaccination at all.
Conclusion: In Southern Punjab, a high percentage of children was partially or completely unvaccinated. Those children who were females and belonged to rural households were more likely to be unvaccinated than their counterparts. The main barriers to vaccination were unavailability of vaccinators, ignorance of the importance of vaccination, irregularities in documentation and poor administering practices.
Keywords : Children, EPI schedule, Immunization, Pakistan, Vaccination.