Breaking the inertia in coverage: Mainstreaming under-utilized immunization strategies in the Middle East and North Africa region

Publication date: 16 July 2018
Source:Vaccine, Volume 36, Issue 30
Author(s): Nahad Sadr-Azodi, Denise DeRoeck, Kamel Senouci
Vaccination coverage rates have stagnated in the past several years in many middle-income countries (MICs), especially in the UNICEF Middle East and North Africa region, with political and economic turmoil as contributing factors. This paper reviews country experiences with three under-utilized strategies aimed at increasing vaccination coverage and reducing disparities between socio-economic and geographic groups in MICs. These strategies include: (1) identifying and accounting for displaced, mobile and neglected populations; (2) assessing and addressing missed opportunities for vaccination, including by expanding immunization into the second year of life and beyond; and (3) engaging effectively with the private/nongovernmental health providers in the coordination, provision and reporting of immunization services. The examples focus primarily on quality data collection, analysis, use and reporting aspects of the strategies. While data are limited, there is evidence from MICs that each of these strategies can have a positive impact on vaccination coverage, especially among marginalized populations.