Childhood immunization and age-appropriate vaccinations in Indonesia

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Background: Childhood immunization is a cost-effective way to protect individuals against communicable diseases. However, although there is a large literature on childhood immunization in Indonesia, there is a paucity of research on the age-appropriateness on measles and DTwP-3 vaccination, and the inequities in immunization coverage across Indonesia. Methods: In this paper, using seven waves of data from the nationally representative Indonesia Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) covering the period 1991- 2017, we empirically analyse the socio-economic and demographic factors influencing the uptake of four routine vaccines (BCG, Polio-3, DTwP-3, and Measles). Specifically, using multivariate regression analysis, we identify the socio-economic and demographic factors influencing childhood immunization coverage. We further analyse the socio-economic and demographic correlates of the age-appropriateness of the measles and DTwP-3 vaccination coverage. Results: Our findings show that parental education and use of healthcare services are strong predictors of full immunization and age-appropriate vaccinations. This study also finds evidence of spatial heterogeneity in both full immunization rates and age-appropriate vaccinations for measles and DTwP-3 vaccines. Conclusions: Our analysis finds that despite an improvement in the timing of vaccinations over the last two decades, a significant proportion of children continue to receive their measles and DTwP vaccinations age inappropriately. In particular, we find that maternal education and maternal engagement with healthcare services are critical in improving age appropriateness of vaccinations. From a policy perspective, these results call for concerted efforts by policy makers to address regional gaps in access to health services and immunization coverage, as well as to improve the age-appropriateness of vaccination.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2023
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


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