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09.25.2023

Peer-Reviewed Article | Oral and Inactivated Polio Vaccine Coverage

And Determinants of Coverage Inequality Among the Most At-Risk Populations in Ethiopia

Combining oral (OPV) and inactivated (IPV) poliovirus vaccines prevents importation of poliovirus and emergence of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus. We measured the coverage with IPV and third dose of OPV (OPV-3) and identified determinants of coverage inequality in the most at-risk populations in Ethiopia. A national survey representing 10 partly overlapping underserved populations was conducted among children 12-35 months old. One-third of the children received OPV-3 and IPV. The dual coverage was below 50% in developing regions (19.2%), pastoralists (22.0%), IDPs (22.3%), districts neighboring international (24.1%) and interregional (33.3%) boundaries, refugees (27.0%), conflict-affected areas (29.3%), newly formed regions (33.5%), and hard-to-reach areas (38.9%). Conversely, coverage was better in urban slums (78%). Children from the poorest households, living in villages that do not have health posts, and having limited health facility access had increased odds of not receiving the vaccines. Low paternal education, dissatisfaction with vaccination service, fear of vaccine side effects, living in female-headed households, having employed and less empowered mothers were also risk factors. Polio vaccination coverage in the most at-risk populations in Ethiopia is suboptimal, threatening the polio eradication initiative.

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