By Vincent Ujumadu, Awka
EBONYI and Enugu states have recorded top positions in immunization coverage across the country, achieving above 91% each, which is higher than the national goal of 90%.
The feat by the two states was made public during the release of the result of the
survey conducted in 2021 and made public at a media meeting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The survey was commissioned by the National Primary Health care Development Agency, NPHDA, and conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics under the guidance of the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF.
The findings show that immunization coverage in Nigeria is far below the national goal, thus putting a substantial number of children at risk of death and disability from vaccine preventable diseases.
The other three states in the South East namely Imo, Abia and Anambra achieved below the national goal, although they recorded above 80%.
According to the report, 86% of children in the South East received all three doses of pentavalent vaccine, while 11%who received penta1 did not receive penta 3 during routine immunization exercises in the zone.
It was discovered during the survey that 43% of children in the zone aged 12- 23 months missed one or more routine immunizations from health systems, while 38% received some, but not all the doses.
The report observed that surprisingly,71% of children from the poorest families received all three doses of pentavalent vaccine, an indication that many rich families appear not to have time to take their children for immunization.
The report added: “The benefits of vaccines are optimized when children receive all recommended vaccine doses. In the South East, only 57% of children receive all doses and lack of information was the reason why many children are not fully vaccinated.”