Differential coverage for vaccines in the expanded program on immunization (EPI) among children in rural Pakistan

Shahira Shahid, Sheraz Ahmed, Muhammad Farrukh Qazi, Rafey Ali, Syed Asad Ali, Anita K.M. Zaidi, Najeeha T. Iqbal, Fyezah Jehan, Muhammad Imran Nisar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Pakistan has a well-established Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) however vaccine-preventable diseases still account for high infant and child mortality rates. This study describes the differential vaccine coverage and determinants of vaccine uptake in rural Pakistan. Methods: From October 2014 to September 2018, we enrolled children younger than 2 years of age from the Matiari Demographic Surveillance System in Sindh, Pakistan. Socio-demographic and vaccination history were collected from all participants. Vaccine coverage rates and timeliness were reported. Socio-demographic variables for missed and untimely vaccination were studied in multivariable logistic regression. Results: Of the 3140 enrolled children, 48.4 % received all EPI recommended vaccines. Only 21.2 % of these were age appropriate. Around 45.4 % of the children were partially vaccinated, and 6.2 % were unvaccinated. Highest coverage was seen for the first dose of pentavalent (72.8 %), 10-valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV10) (70.4 %) and Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) (69.2 %) and the lowest coverage was for measles (29.3 %) and rotavirus (1.8 %) vaccines. Primary caretakers and wage earners with a higher level of education were protective against missed and untimely vaccination. Enrollment in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th study year was negatively associated with being unvaccinated whereas distance from a major road was positively associated with non-adherence to schedule. Conclusion: Vaccine coverage was low among children in Matiari, Pakistan, and majority received delayed doses. Parents’ education status and year of study enrollment was protective against vaccine dropout and delayed vaccination whereas geographical distance from a major road was a predictor. Vaccine promotion and outreach efforts may have had a beneficial impact on vaccine coverage and timeliness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2680-2689
Number of pages10
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2023


  • Children
  • Expanded program on immunization
  • Pakistan
  • Social determinants
  • Vaccine coverage
  • Vaccine timeliness


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