Journal of
Public Health and Epidemiology

  • Abbreviation: J. Public Health Epidemiol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2316
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPHE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 652

Full Length Research Paper

Reasons for incomplete vaccination and factors for missed opportunities among rural Nigerian children

Abdulraheem I. S.1*, Onajole A. T.2, Jimoh A. A. G.3 and Oladipo A. R.4
1Department of Epidemiology and Community Health, College of Medicine University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria. 2Department of Community Health College of Medicine, University of Lagos. Lagos, Lagos State, Nigeria. 3Department of Obstetric and Gynaecology, College of Medicine, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria. 4Department of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Kwara State, Nigeria.
Email: ibroraheem@yahoo

  •  Accepted: 04 March 2011
  •  Published: 30 April 2011


Mothers play an important role in immunization of their children. A target of 95% immunization coverage is necessary for the sustained control of vaccine preventable diseases. Partial immunization coverage against vaccine preventable diseases is a significant public health problem especially in rural areas in Nigeria. The reasons for partial immunization and factors responsible for missed opportunities are poorly understood and little data is available to explain the phenomenon that could support the decision making. This study aimed at finding out the reasons for partial immunization and factors responsible for missed opportunities for immunization in children less than one year of age. Mothers of children within one year of age were the study subjects using a cross-sectional study design. The immunization card was utilized to check for completeness and correctness of immunization schedule, and also for identifying the appropriate use of all available opportunities for immunization. About two-third (62.8%) of the children were not fully immunized by one year of age, 33.4% had experienced a missed opportunity for immunization and 36.4% were partially and incorrectly immunized. Parents objection, disagreement or concern about immunization safety (38.8%), long distance walking (17.5%) and long waiting time at the health facility (15.2%) are the most common reasons for partial immunization. Missed opportunities for immunization and partial immunization need to be avoided in order to enhance the fully immunized percentage for those children who reach the health facility, especially in rural areas where the immunization coverage is below the expected national coverage (minimum 80%).


Key words: Incomplete vaccination, reasons and factors, rural Nigerian children.