COVID-19 and missed or delayed vaccination in 26 middle- and high-income countries
An observational survey
Shapiro, G. K., Gottfredson, N., Leask, J., Wiley, K., Ganter-Restrepo, F. E., Jones, S. P., Menning, L., & Brewer, N. T. (2022). COVID-19 and missed or delayed vaccination in 26 middle- and high-income countries: An observational survey. Vaccine, 40(6), 945-952. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2021.12.041
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted vaccination services and raised the risk of a global resurgence of preventable diseases. We assessed the extent of and reasons for missed or delayed vaccinations (hereafter ‘missed’) in middle- and high-income countries in the early months of the pandemic.
From May to June 2020, participants completed an online survey on missed vaccination. Analyses separated missed childhood and adult vaccination in middle-and high-income countries.
Respondents were 28,429 adults from 26 middle- and high-income countries. Overall, 9% of households had missed a vaccine, and 13% were unsure. More households in middle- than high-income countries reported missed childhood vaccination (7.6% vs. 3.0%) and missed adult vaccination (9.6% vs. 3.4%, both p < .05). Correlates of missed childhood vaccination in middle-income countries included COVID-19 risk factors (respiratory and cardiovascular diseases), younger age, male sex, employment, psychological distress, larger household size, and more children. In high-income countries, correlates of missed childhood vaccination also included immunosuppressive conditions, but did not include sex or household size. Fewer correlates were associated with missed adult vaccination other than COVID-19 risk factors and psychological distress. Common reasons for missed vaccinations were worry about getting COVID-19 at the vaccination clinic (15%) or when leaving the house (11%). Other reasons included no healthcare provider recommendation, clinic closure, and wanting to save services for others.
Missed vaccination was common and more prevalent in middle- than high-income countries. Missed vaccination could be mitigated by emphasizing COVID-19 safety measures in vaccination clinics, ensuring free and accessible immunization, and clear healthcare provider recommendations.