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Determinants of under-immunization and cumulative time spent under-immunized in a Quebec cohort.

Vaccine; 35(43): 5924-5931, 2017 Oct 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28882440


Under-immunization refers to a state of sub-optimal protection against vaccine preventable diseases. Vaccine coverage for age may not capture intentional or non-intentional spacing of vaccines in the recommended provincial immunization guidelines. We aimed to identify factors associated with coverage and under-immunization and to determine the number of days during which children were under-immunized during their first 24months of life.


Secondary analysis of children ≤3years recruited through active surveillance for gastroenteritis from three Quebec pediatric emergency departments from 2012 to 2014. Vaccination status for children at least 24months of age was determined using provincial immunization guidelines. Cumulative days under-immunized were calculated for DTaP-VPI-Hib, PCV, MMR, and Men-C-C. Factors associated with up-to-date (UTD) status at 24months of life and for under-immunization ≥6months were analyzed using logistic regression.


Of 246 eligible children, 180 (73%) were UTD by 24months of life. The mean cumulative days under-immunized for MMR was 107days, for PCV 209days, for Men-C-C 145days, and for DTaP-VPI-Hib 227days. Overall, 149 children (60%) experienced delay for at least 1 vaccine. Factors associated with both an UTD status at 24months and concurrently associated with being under-immunization ≥6months, included timely initiation of immunization (OR=5.85; 95% CI: 2.80-12.22) and (OR=0.13; 95% CI: 0.07-0.24), failure to co-administer 18-month vaccines (OR=0.15; 95% CI: 0.10-0.21) and (OR=3.29; 95% CI: 2.47-4.39), and having a household with ≥3 children under 18years ((OR=0.50; 0.28-0.86) and (OR=2.99; 1.45-6.22), respectively.


Paired with an unexpected low level of coverage at 24months of life, the majority of our cohort also experienced a state of under-immunization for a least one vaccine. Estimates of coverage do not capture intentional or non-intentional gaps in protection from vaccine preventable illnesses. Timely preventive care should be prioritized.