International Journal of Advanced Multidisciplinary Research and Studies
Volume 3, Issue 2, 2023
Impact of covid-19 on Essential Immunization (EI) Regarding Vaccine Preventable Diseases District DG Khan, Punjab, Pakistan-2020
Author(s): Dr. Fawad Khurshid, Dr. Haram Saif, Dr. Muhammad Shah Rukh Khalil, Dr. Fayaz Sarwer, Dr. Muhammad Saleem
EPI schedule immunizes children for 10 diseases namely Tuberculosis, Polio, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Hepatitis B, Meningitis, Pneumonia, Diarrhea and Measles starting from birth till 23 months of age. District DG Khan is located in Southern Punjab having low essential immunization because of geography, mountainous terrain and multiple factors.
This study was carried out to assess the impact of COVID-19 on Essential Immunization status of children in Dera Ghazi Khan and to formulate recommendations for strengthening of Essential Immunization during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Descriptive study was conducted during the month of January-2021 at District Health authority office Dera Ghazi Khan. Data was collected for 2019 and 2020 month wise. Comparison analysis was done antigen and month wise for 2019 and 2020 to see the impact of COVID-19 on Essential Immunization.
Essential Immunization activities were affected badly during the first three months of start of pandemic. Penta-1 coverage during March 2019 was 95% and it was 56% in March 2020. Penta-1 coverage during April 2019 was 95% and it was 3% in April 2020. Penta-1 coverage during May 2019 was 97% and it was 81% in May 2020. Measles-1 coverage during March 2019 was 94% and it was 68% in March 2020. Measles-1 coverage during April 2019 was 97% and it was 86% in April 2020. Measles-1 coverage during May 2019 was 100% and it was 83% in May 2020. Similarly, all antigens coverage remained low during first three months of pandemic.
Major reason for low coverage was the community fear and parents were refusal for vaccination because of COVID-19.Outreach sessions for immunization need to be carried out on regular basis by following the COVID-19 SOPs. Social mobilization activities for parent’s awareness about vaccination like community awareness sessions for building community trust are recommended.
Keywords: Essential Immunization, COVID-19, Dera Ghazi Khan, Punjab
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