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1.  Immunization Coverage: Role of Sociodemographic Variables 
Children are considered fully immunized if they receive one dose of BCG, three doses of DPT and polio vaccine each, and one measles vaccine. In India, only 44% of children aged 12–23 months are fully vaccinated and about 5% have not received any vaccination at all. Even if national immunization coverage levels are sufficiently high to block disease transmission, pockets of susceptibility may act as potential reservoirs of infection. This study was done to assess the immunization coverage in an urban slum area and determine various sociodemographic variables affecting the same. A total of 210 children were selected from study population using WHO's 30 cluster sampling method. Coverage of BCG was found to be the highest (97.1%) while that of measles was the lowest. The main reason for noncompliance was given as child's illness at the time of scheduled vaccination followed by lack of knowledge regarding importance of immunization. Low education status of mother, high birth order, and place of delivery were found to be positively associated with low vaccination coverage. Regular IEC activities (group talks, role plays, posters, pamphlets, and competitions) should be conducted in the community to ensure that immunization will become a “felt need” of the mothers in the community.
PMCID: PMC3872377  PMID: 24386572
2.  Immune response to second dose of MMR vaccine in Indian children 
Background & objectives:
MMR vaccine in a two dose schedule has successfully eliminated measles, mumps and rubella from many developed countries. In India, it is not a part of national immunization programme but is included in the State immunization programme of Delhi as a single dose between 15-18 months. This prospective study was carried out to assess the extent of seroprotection against these three diseases in immunized children and to study the immune response to a second dose of MMR.
Consecutive children aged 4-6 yr, attending the immunization clinic of a tertiary care hospital in Delhi for routine DT vaccination, were enrolled. Second dose of MMR was given and pre- and post-vaccination antibody levels were compared.
The pre-vaccination percentage seropositivity observed in the 103 children recruited, was 20.4 per cent for measles, 87.4 per cent for mumps and 75.7 per cent for rubella. Amongst the 84 children who were followed up after the second dose, the percentage seroprotection for measles rose from 21.4 (18/84) to 72.6 per cent (61/84) and 100 per cent became seroprotected to mumps and rubella.
Interpretation & conclusions:
The percentage of children protected against measles was found to be alarmingly low which needs to be investigated. Though the observed protection against mumps and rubella was adequate, its durability was not known. The need for re-appraisal of the current MMR immunization policy is called for by carrying out longitudinal studies on a larger sample.
PMCID: PMC3193710  PMID: 21985812
Measles; MMR vaccine; mumps; rubella; seroconversion; seroprotection
3.  Timeliness of immunizations of children in a Medicaid primary care case management managed care program. 
OBJECTIVE: This study assessed the timeliness of immunization for children in a Medicaid managed care primary care case management program controlling for patient and provider predictors of immunization status. METHODS: Using administrative data and patient medical records, up-to-date (UTD) and age appropriate immunization (AAI) status were reviewed for 5598 children. The 4:3:1 immunization series (four diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus vaccinations; three polio vaccinations; and one measles, mumps, rubella vaccination) was the standard. RESULTS: Childhood immunization rates were low when assessed using strict adherence to vaccination recommendations. At age 18 months, 28.3% were classified as UTD, and 6.3% were classified as AAI. Compared to children not up-to-date, UTD children were more likely to have public rather than private providers, to have had older mothers, and less likely to have been African American. Among UTD children, AAI children were more likely to reside in urban areas. CONCLUSIONS: Low-income children continue to be under-immunized, even under a managed care initiative. Health care providers and child health advocates need to continue pressure for programs that will increase adherence to nationally recommended guidelines.
PMCID: PMC2594144  PMID: 12392047
4.  Timeliness of Immunizations of Children in a Medicaid Primary Care Case Management Managed Care Program 
This study assessed the timeliness of immunization for children in a Medicaid managed care primary care case management program controlling for patient and provider predictors of immunization status.
Using administrative data and patient medical records, up-to-date (UTD) and age appropriate immunization (AAI) status were reviewed for 5,598 children. The 4:3:1 immunization series (4 diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus vaccinations; 3 polio vaccinations; and one measles, mumps, rubella vaccination) was the standard.
Childhood immunization rates were low when assessed using strict adherence to vaccination recommendations. At age 18 months, 28.3% were classified as UTD, and 6.3% were classified as AAI. Compared to children not up-to-date, UTD children were more likely to have public rather than private providers, to have had older mothers, and less likely to have been African-American. Among UTD children, AAI children were more likely to reside in urban areas.
Low-income children continue to be under-immunized, even under a managed care initiative. Health care providers and child health advocates need to continue pressure for programs that will increase adherence to nationally recommended guidelines.
PMCID: PMC2568310
Medicaid; managed care; immunization; children
5.  Factors associated with non-utilization of child immunization in Pakistan: evidence from the Demographic and Health Survey 2006-07 
BMC Public Health  2014;14:232.
The proportion of incompletely immunized children in Pakistan varies from 37-58%, and this has recently resulted in outbreaks of measles and polio. The aim of this paper is to determine the factors associated with incomplete immunization among children aged 12-23 months in Pakistan.
Secondary analysis was conducted on nationally representative cross-sectional survey data from the Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey, 2006-07. The analysis was limited to ever-married mothers who had delivered their last child during the 23 months immediately preceding the survey (n = 2,435). ‘Complete immunization’ was defined as the child having received twelve doses of five vaccines, and ‘incomplete immunization’ was defined if he/she had missed at least one of these twelve doses. The association between child immunization status and determinants of non-utilization of vaccines was assessed by calculating unadjusted and adjusted odds ratios (AOR) with 95% confidence intervals using a multivariable binary logistic regression.
The findings of this research showed that nearly 66% of children were incompletely immunized against seven preventable childhood diseases. The likelihood of incomplete immunization was significantly associated with the father’s occupation as a manual worker (AOR = 1.47; 95% CI: 1.10-1.97), lack of access to information (AOR = 1.35; 95% CI: 1.09-1.66), non-use of antenatal care (AOR = 1.33; 95% CI: 1.07-1.66), children born in Baluchistan region (AOR = 1.74; 95% CI: 1.12-2.70) and delivery at home (AOR = 1.39; 95% CI: 1.14-1.69).
Despite governmental efforts to increase rates of immunization against childhood diseases, the proportion of incompletely immunized children in Pakistan is still high. Targeted interventions are needed to increase the immunization rates in Pakistan. These interventions need to concentrate on people with low socioeconomic and educational status in order to improve their knowledge of this topic.
PMCID: PMC3973983  PMID: 24602264
Childhood diseases; Immunization; Pakistan; Demographic and Health Survey
6.  Recent trends in pediatric Haemophilus influenzae type B infections in Canada. Immunization Monitoring Program, Active (IMPACT) of the Canadian Paediatric Society and the Laboratory Centre for Disease Control. 
OBJECTIVE: To describe changes in the number of cases of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) infections among Canadian children before and after the introductory phases of Hib vaccination. DESIGN: Multicentre case series. SETTING: All 10 pediatric tertiary care centres across Canada participating in the Immunization Monitoring Program, Active (IMPACT) of the Canadian Paediatric Society and the Laboratory Centre for Disease control. PATIENTS: Children with a Hib infection admitted to any of the participating hospitals from 1985 to 1994. Annual case totals from 1985 to 1990 were determined from records of hospital laboratories or coded discharge diagnoses, or both. From 1991 to 1994 intensive case surveillance was conducted on the wards in addition to thorough record searches as above. OUTCOME MEASURES: Estimated annual case totals for 1985-90. For 1991-94 intensive surveillance for quarterly case totals, yearly age distribution of cases, and proportion of recent cases that represent vaccination failures or missed opportunities to prevent infection. RESULTS: The total number of Hib cases from 1985 to 1990 was 2095; from 1991 to 1994, there were 326 laboratory-confirmed cases and 15 probably cases supported by Hib antigen detection. The annual number of cases declined from an estimated 485 in 1985 to 24 in 1994, a decrease of 95.1%. The steepest interannual decrease (63.7%) occurred between 1992 and 1993, following the introduction of infant-based vaccination programs across Canada. The number of Hib cases involving children most at risk (those 6 to 18 months old) decreased from 78 in 1991 to 4 in 1994. Of the 24 cases in 1994, 6 were categorized as preventable, 1 was fatal, and 8 were vaccine failures (2 of which involved currently used vaccines). CONCLUSION: The prevalence of Hib infections reported by the IMPACT centres has declined greatly since the introduction of vaccination programs. However, deaths and complications continue to occur, attesting to the need to vaccinate all eligible infants and children against this virulent pathogen.
PMCID: PMC1487572  PMID: 8625025
7.  Hospitalization of children with acute immune thrombocytopenic purpura – is it necessary? 
Paediatrics & Child Health  2002;7(6):386-389.
To identify a target group of children with acute immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) that may not require hospitalization for management.
A retrospective chart review was conducted of all children admitted over a two-year period to a tertiary care paediatric hospital with the diagnosis of acute ITP. Patients were classified according to typical and atypical presentations. Typical patients were defined as those aged between one and 10 years, with no hepatomegaly or significant splenomegaly and who had typical laboratory features for ITP. Patients who did not meet these criteria were categorized as atypical. Outcome measures included length of stay (LOS) in hospital; frequency of bone marrow aspiration (BMA); type of treatment; incidence of intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) or severe bleeding; and admission and discharge platelet counts.
There were 74 patients hospitalized for a mean of 3.6 days. No patients suffered an ICH or bleeding requiring transfusion. Patients with typical presentations (42) were compared with patients with atypical presentations (32) and were not significantly different for clinically important outcomes such as admission and discharge platelet counts, serious complications or type of therapy. Typical patients had significantly fewer BMAs than did atypical patients – 22 of 42 (52%) versus 25 of 32 (78%) (P=0.02), and a shorter LOS – 3.1 (±0.9) days versus 4.2 (±1.8) days (P=0.01).
Children presenting with ITP have a low incidence of bleeding complications and many of these patients can be managed as outpatients. A multicentre study is needed to properly delineate a low risk group suited for outpatient medical management.
PMCID: PMC2795686  PMID: 20046330
Hospitalization; Immune thrombocytopenic purpura; Treatment
8.  Impact of health insurance status on vaccination coverage in children 19-35 months old, United States, 1993-1996. 
Public Health Reports  2004;119(2):156-162.
OBJECTIVES: To show how health insurance (privately and publicly insured, insured and uninsured) relates to vaccination coverage in children 19-35 months old, and how this can be used to better target public health interventions. METHODS: The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) gathers information on the health and health care of the U.S. non-institutionalized population through household interviews. The authors combined immunization and health insurance supplements from the 1993 through 1996 NHIS, and classified children 19-35 months old by their immunization and insurance status. Results were compared using both bivariate and multivariate analyses, and the backwards stepwise selection method was used to build multivariate logistic regression models. RESULTS: Uninsured children tended to have lower vaccination coverage than those who had insurance, either private or public. Among those with insurance, publicly insured children had lower vaccination coverage than privately insured children. Backwards stepwise regression retained insurance status, metropolitan statistical area, and education of responsible adult family member as major predictors of immunization. Factors considered but not retained in the final model included child race/ethnicity, family poverty index, and region of country. CONCLUSIONS: Insurance status was a critical predictor of vaccination coverage for children ages 19-35 months. After controlling for confounders, the uninsured were about 24% less likely to receive all recommended shots than the insured and, among the insured, those with public insurance were about 24% less likely to receive all recommended vaccines than those with private insurance.
PMCID: PMC1497610  PMID: 15192902
9.  Deficiency of immunity to poliovirus type 3: a lurking danger? 
Europe was certified to be polio-free in 2002 by the WHO. However, wild polioviruses remain endemic in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria, occasionally causing polio outbreaks, as in Tajikistan in 2010. Therefore, effective surveillance measures and vaccination campaigns remain important. To determine the poliovirus immune status of a German study population, we retrospectively evaluated the seroprevalence of neutralizing antibodies (NA) to the poliovirus types 1, 2 and 3 (PV1, 2, 3) in serum samples collected from 1,632 patients admitted the University Hospital of Frankfurt am Main, Germany, in 2001, 2005 and 2010.
Testing was done by using a standardized microneutralization assay.
Level of immunity to PV1 ranged between 84.2% (95%CI: 80.3-87.5), 90.4% (88.3-92.3) and 87.5% (85.4-88.8) in 2001, 2005 and 2010. For PV2, we found 90.8% (87.5-90.6), 91.3% (89.3-93.1) and 89.8% (88.7-90.9), in the same period. Seroprevalence to PV3 was 76.6% (72.2-80.6), 69.8% (66.6-72.8) and 72.9% (67.8-77.5) in 2001 and 2005 and 2010, respectively. In 2005 and 2010 significant lower levels of immunity to PV3 in comparison to PV1 and 2 were observed. Since 2001, immunity to PV3 is gradually, but not significantly decreasing.
Immunity to PV3 is insufficient in our cohort. Due to increasing globalization and worldwide tourism, the danger of polio-outbreaks is not averted - even not in developed countries, such as Germany. Therefore, vaccination remains necessary.
PMCID: PMC3298481  PMID: 22280025
Poliomyelitis; Vaccination; Seroepidemiology; Lack of immunity; Germany
10.  Non-Use and Misuse of Measles Vaccine 
Canadian Family Physician  1973;19(1):49-50.
During a major epidemic of measles in 1970-71 in Hamilton, Ont., 86 percent of hospitalized patients were unimmunized; 57 percent of these children had complications. Of those immunized, the majority had inadequate protection because killed measles vaccine had been used, or because immunization had taken place before 12 months of age. Only 90.5 percent of responding physicians use mv routinely, and of these a significant number administer the vaccine before 12 months of age. One-third of the physicians felt that cost was a major factor in non-immunization. Physician office records could give no reason for non-immunization in 58 percent of cases; other reasons included change of physicians with inadequate transfer of records, previous history of measles or measles vaccine (both likely German Measles — i.e. a semantic confusion), and lack of parent compliance. It is suggested that government legislation making proof of mv mandatory prior to school entrance may be necessary to eradicate this disease.
PMCID: PMC2370758  PMID: 20468866
11.  Poor uptake of hepatitis B immunization amongst hospital-based health care staff. 
Postgraduate Medical Journal  1991;67(785):256-258.
The uptake of hepatitis B vaccine was assessed amongst 100 medical and 100 nursing staff in a teaching hospital with a policy of recommending to those at risk that they should seek immunization from their general practitioners. Sixteen per cent of nurses and 31% of doctors had completed a course of immunization with confirmation of seroconversion. An additional 9% and 18% respectively had been immunized without post-immunization serology. Ninety three per cent of nurses and 61% of doctors who had not been immunized would like to receive the vaccine. The commonest reasons for non-immunization amongst nurses were fear of vaccine and lack of advice, and amongst doctors, apathy and difficulty in obtaining the vaccine. Eighty seven per cent of medical staff and 57% of nurses had a history of needle stick injury. The low rates of vaccine uptake in this study combined with the high incidence of needle stick injury calls for a reappraisal of present hepatitis B vaccination programmes in hospitals. In particular the abrogation of responsibility for immunization to general practitioners is probably a major disincentive to potential vaccines.
PMCID: PMC2399030  PMID: 1829519
12.  Improving polio vaccination during supplementary campaigns at areas of mass transit in India 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:243.
In India, children who are traveling during mass immunization campaigns for polio represent a substantial component of the total target population. These children are not easily accessible to health workers and may thus not receive vaccine. Vaccination activities at mass transit sites (such as major intersections, bus depots and train stations), can increase the proportion of children vaccinated but the effectiveness of these activities, and factors associated with their success, have not been rigorously evaluated.
We assessed data from polio vaccination activities in Jyotiba Phule Nagar district, Uttar Pradesh, India, conducted in June 2006. We used trends in the vaccination results from the June activities to plan the timing, locations, and human resource requirements for transit vaccination activities in two out of the seven blocks in the district for the July 2006 supplementary immunization activity (SIA). In July, similar data was collected and for the first time vaccination teams also recorded the proportion of children encountered each day who were vaccinated (a new monitoring system).
In June, out of the 360,937 total children vaccinated, 34,643 (9.6%) received vaccinations at mass transit sites. In the July SIA, after implementation of a number of changes based on the June monitoring data, 36,475 children were vaccinated at transit sites (a 5.3% increase). Transit site vaccinations in July increased in the two intervention blocks from 18,194 to 21,588 (18.7%) and decreased from 16,449 to 14,887 (9.5%) in the five other blocks. The new monitoring system showed the proportion of unvaccinated children at street intersection transit sites in the July campaign decreased from 24% (1,784/7,405) at the start of the campaign to 3% (143/5,057) by the end of the SIA, consistent with findings from the more labor-intensive post-vaccination coverage surveys routinely performed by the program.
Analysis of vaccination data from transit sites can inform program management changes leading to improved outcomes in polio immunization campaigns. The number of vaccinated children encountered should be routinely recorded by transit teams and may provide a useful, inexpensive alternative mechanism to assess program coverage.
PMCID: PMC2882910  PMID: 20459824
13.  Impact of Round-the-Clock, Rapid Oral Fluid HIV Testing of Women in Labor in Rural India 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(5):e92.
Testing pregnant women for HIV at the time of labor and delivery is the last opportunity for prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) measures, particularly in settings where women do not receive adequate antenatal care. However, HIV testing and counseling of pregnant women in labor is a challenge, especially in resource-constrained settings. In India, many rural women present for delivery without any prior antenatal care. Those who do get antenatal care are not always tested for HIV, because of deficiencies in the provision of HIV testing and counseling services. In this context, we investigated the impact of introducing round-the-clock, rapid, point-of-care HIV testing and counseling in a busy labor ward at a tertiary care hospital in rural India.
Methods and Findings
After they provided written informed consent, women admitted to the labor ward of a rural teaching hospital in India were offered two rapid tests on oral fluid and finger-stick specimens (OraQuick Rapid HIV-1/HIV-2 tests, OraSure Technologies). Simultaneously, venous blood was drawn for conventional HIV ELISA testing. Western blot tests were performed for confirmatory testing if women were positive by both rapid tests and dual ELISA, or where test results were discordant. Round-the-clock (24 h, 7 d/wk) abbreviated prepartum and extended postpartum counseling sessions were offered as part of the testing strategy. HIV-positive women were administered PMTCT interventions. Of 1,252 eligible women (age range 18 y to 38 y) approached for consent over a 9 mo period in 2006, 1,222 (98%) accepted HIV testing in the labor ward. Of these, 1,003 (82%) women presented with either no reports or incomplete reports of prior HIV testing results at the time of admission to the labor ward. Of 1,222 women, 15 were diagnosed as HIV-positive (on the basis of two rapid tests, dual ELISA and Western blot), yielding a seroprevalence of 1.23% (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.61%–1.8%). Of the 15 HIV test–positive women, four (27%) had presented with reported HIV status, and 11 (73%) new cases of HIV infection were detected due to rapid testing in the labor room. Thus, 11 HIV-positive women received PMTCT interventions on account of round-the-clock rapid HIV testing and counseling in the labor room. While both OraQuick tests (oral and finger-stick) were 100% specific, one false-negative result was documented (with both oral fluid and finger-stick specimens). Of the 15 HIV-infected women who delivered, 13 infants were HIV seronegative at birth and at 1 and 4 mo after delivery; two HIV-positive infants died within a month of delivery.
In a busy rural labor ward setting in India, we demonstrated that it is feasible to introduce a program of round-the-clock rapid HIV testing, including prepartum and extended postpartum counseling sessions. Our data suggest that the availability of round-the-clock rapid HIV testing resulted in successful documentation of HIV serostatus in a large proportion (82%) of rural women who were unaware of their HIV status when admitted to the labor room. In addition, 11 (73%) of a total of 15 HIV-positive women received PMTCT interventions because of round-the-clock rapid testing in the labor ward. These findings are relevant for PMTCT programs in developing countries.
Nitika Pant Pai and colleagues report the results of offering a round-the-clock rapid HIV testing program in a rural labor ward setting in India.
Editors' Summary
Since the first reported case of AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) in 1981, the number of people infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS, has risen steadily. Now, more than 33 million people are infected, almost half of them women. HIV is most often spread through unprotected sex with an infected partner, but mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV is also an important transmission route. HIV-positive women often pass the virus to their babies during pregnancy, labor and delivery, and breastfeeding, if nothing is done to prevent viral transmission. In developed countries, interventions such as voluntary testing and counseling, safe delivery practices (for example, offering cesarean delivery to HIV-positive women), and antiretroviral treatment of the mother during pregnancy and labor and of her newborn baby have minimized the risk of MTCT. In developing countries, the prevention of MTCT (PMTCT) is much less effective, in part because pregnant women often do not know their HIV status. Consequently, in 2007, nearly half a million children became infected with HIV mainly through MTCT.
Why Was This Study Done?
In many developing countries, women do not receive adequate antenatal care. In India, for example, nearly half the women living in rural areas do not receive any antenatal care until they are in labor. This gives health care providers very little time in which to counsel women about HIV infection, test them for the virus, and start interventions to prevent MTCT. Furthermore, testing pregnant women in labor for HIV and counseling them is a challenge, particularly where resources are limited. In this study, therefore, the researchers investigate the feasibility and impact of introducing round-the-clock, rapid HIV testing and counseling in a busy labor ward in a rural teaching hospital in Sevagram, India.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
Women admitted to the labor ward between January and September 2006 were offered two rapid HIV tests—one that used a saliva sample and the other that used blood taken from a finger prick. Blood was also taken from a vein for conventional HIV testing. All the women were given a 15-minute counseling session about how HIV is transmitted, the importance of HIV testing, and information on PMTCT before their child was born (prepartum counseling), and a longer postpartum counseling session. HIV-positive women were given a cesarean delivery where possible and antiretroviral drug treatment to reduce MTCT. 1,222 women admitted to the labor ward during the study period (1,003 of whom did not know their HIV status) accepted HIV testing. Of 15 study participants who were HIV positive, 11 learnt of their HIV status in the labor room. Two babies born to these HIV-positive women were HIV positive and died within a month of delivery; the other 13 babies were HIV negative at birth and at 1 and 4 months after delivery. Finally, the rapid HIV tests missed only one HIV-positive woman (no false-positive results were given), and the time from enrolling a woman into the study through referring her for PMTCT intervention where necessary averaged 40–60 minutes.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show the feasibility and positive impact of the introduction of round-the-clock pre- and postpartum HIV counseling and rapid HIV testing into a busy rural Indian labor ward. Few of the women entering this ward knew their HIV status previously but the introduction of these facilities in this setting successfully informed these women of their HIV status. In addition, the round-the-clock counseling and testing led to 11 women and their babies receiving PMTCT interventions who would otherwise have been missed. These findings need to be confirmed in other settings and the cost-effectiveness and sustainability of this approach for the improvement of PMTCT in developing countries needs to be investigated. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that round-the-clock rapid HIV testing might be an effective and acceptable way to reduce MTCT of HIV in many developing countries.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
Read a related PLoS Medicine Perspective article
Information is available from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on HIV infection and AIDS and on HIV infection in women
HIV InSite has comprehensive information on all aspects of HIV/AIDS
Women, Children, and HIV provides extensive information on the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in developing countries
Information is available from Avert, an international AIDS charity, on HIV and AIDS in India, on women, HIV, and AIDS, and on HIV and AIDS prevention, including the prevention of mother-to-child transmission
AIDSinfo, a service of the US Department of Health and Human Services provides health information for HIV-positive pregnant women (in English and Spanish)
PMCID: PMC2365974  PMID: 18462011
14.  OPV strains circulation in HIV infected infants after National Immunisation Days in Bangui, Central African Republic 
BMC Research Notes  2010;3:136.
Humans are the only host of polioviruses, thus the prospects of global polio eradication look reasonable. However, individuals with immunodeficiencies were shown to excrete vaccine derived poliovirus for long periods of time which led to reluctance to prolong the vaccination campaign for fear of this end result. Therefore, we aimed to assess the duration of excretion of poliovirus after the 2001 National Immunization Days according to Human immunodeficiency virus status.
Fifty three children were enrolled. Sequential stool samples were collected in between National Immunisation Days rounds and then every month during one year. Children were classified into 2 groups: no immunodepression (n = 38), immunodepression (n = 15) according to CD4+ lymphocytes cells count. Thirteen poliovirus strains were isolated from 11 children: 5 Human immunodeficiency virus positive and 6 Human immunodeficiency virus negative. None of the children excreted poliovirus for more than 4 weeks. The restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis showed that all strains were of Sabin origin including a unique Polio Sabine Vaccine types 2 and 3 (S2/S3) recombinant.
From these findings we assume that Human immunodeficiency virus positive children are not a high risk population for long term poliovirus excretion. More powerful studies are needed to confirm our findings.
PMCID: PMC2880960  PMID: 20482773
15.  The impact of jaundice in newborn infants on the length of breastfeeding 
Paediatrics & Child Health  2009;14(7):445-449.
To examine the breastfeeding prevalence among infants aged three and six months who were previously hospitalized because of hyperbilirubinemia, and to determine whether jaundice in newborn infants increases the risk of breastfeeding discontinuation.
Surveys were mailed to mothers of all eligible infants admitted over a two-and-a-half year period to the paediatric ward of a tertiary care children’s hospital with a diagnosis of hyperbilirubinemia. A total of 127 mother-patient pairs were included in the study. Breastfeeding rates at three and six months were compared with those of a city-wide survey (Infant Care Survey) conducted by Ottawa’s Public Health Department. Risk factors for early breastfeeding discontinuation were examined.
Breastfeeding rates at three and six months were not different between the study group and those reported in the Infant Care Survey (75.5% in the study group versus 71.2% in the Infant Care Survey group, at three months; and 59.1% in the study group versus 50.8% of the Infant Care Survey group, at six months). None of the previously reported risk factors for early weaning had an impact on breastfeeding duration in the study population.
Breastfeeding rates following the discharge of infants diagnosed with jaundice were not significantly different from those reported for the general population. Different patient characteristics may have inflated the breastfeeding rates in the study population, as evidenced by a very high education level among the mothers of enrolled patients. Larger prospective studies in diverse populations are needed to determine the rates of early breastfeeding discontinuation in jaundiced infants.
PMCID: PMC2786949  PMID: 20808472
Breastfeeding; Hyperbilirubinemia; Infants; Jaundice
16.  Improving Immunization Rates at 18 Months of Age: Implications for Individual Practices 
Public Health Reports  2011;126(Suppl 2):33-38.
We sought to model the effect that a targeted immunization visit at 18 months of age could have on immunization rates of preschool-aged children in a sample of pediatric practices.
We conducted retrospective chart reviews in six practices of all active patients aged 18–30 months. Up-to-date (UTD) status was defined as receipt of four diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis, three polio, one measles-mumps-rubella, three hepatitis B, and one varicella vaccines. Haemophilus influenza tybe b vaccine was not included due to a shortage in vaccine supply during the time of the study. Practice vaccination rates were determined at 17 months, 18 months, and the age at assessment. Of those not UTD at 17 months, the percentage of children who could be brought UTD with one visit was calculated for each practice. This calculated rate was compared with the measured rate at 18 months of age and at the age of assessment.
At each practice, we reviewed 183–616 charts (median = 382). Observed UTD immunization rates at 17 months ranged from 26% to 64% (median = 38%) and increased 3 to 27 percentage points (median = 6) from age 17 months to 18 months and 9 to 39 percentage points (median = 17) from age 17 months to the age at assessment. A simulated vaccination visit at 18 months of age could improve the UTD rates from 27 to 61 percentage points (median = 44).
Practice-based interventions aimed at encouraging an 18-month well-child visit that emphasizes delivery of vaccines have the potential to substantially increase timely vaccination rates among individual practices.
PMCID: PMC3113428  PMID: 21812167
17.  Reasons for non-vaccination in pediatric patients visiting tertiary care centers in a polio-prone country 
Archives of Public Health  2013;71(1):19.
The Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) was initiated by World Health Organization (WHO) in 1974 in order to save children from life threatening, disabling vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs). In Pakistan, this program was launched in 1978 with the main objectives of eradicating polio by 2012, eliminating measles and neonatal tetanus by 2015, and minimizing the incidence of other VPDs. However, despite the efforts of government and WHO, this program has not received the amount of success that was desired. Hence, the objectives of this study were to elucidate the main reasons behind not achieving the full immunization coverage in Pakistan, the awareness of children’s attendant about the importance of vaccination, their attitudes, thoughts and fears regarding childhood immunization, and the major hurdles faced in pursuit of getting their children vaccinated.
This was an observational, cross-sectional, questionnaire-based study conducted during a one year period from 4th January, 2012 to 6th January, 2013 at the pediatric outpatient clinics of Civil Hospital (CHK) and National Institute of Child Health (NICH). We attempted to interview all the parents who could be approached during the period of the study. Thus, convenience sampling was employed. The parents were approached in the clinics and interviewed after seeking informed, written consent. Those patients who were not accompanied by either of their parents were excluded from the study. The study instrument comprised of three sections. The first section consisted was concerned with the demographics of the patient and the parents. The second section dealt with the reasons for complete vaccination or under-vaccination. The last section aimed to assess the knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of the respondents.
Out of 1044 patients, only 713(68.3%) were fully vaccinated, 239(22.9%) were partially vaccinated while 92(8.8%) had never been vaccinated. The vaccination status showed statistically significant association with ethnicity, income, residence, number of children and paternal occupation (p < 0.05 for all). The most common provocative factor for vaccination compliance was mass media (61.9%). The most common primary reason for non-vaccination was lack of knowledge (18.1%), whereas the most common secondary reason for non-vaccination was religious taboos (31.4%). Majority of the respondents demonstrated poor knowledge of EPI schedules or VPDs. However, most believed that there was a need for more active government/NGO involvement in this area.
The most common primary reason for non-vaccination, i.e. lack of knowledge, and the most common secondary reason, i.e. religious taboos, imply that there is dire need to promote awareness among the masses in collaboration with NGOs, and major religious and social organizations.
PMCID: PMC3716633  PMID: 23848348
18.  Potential for the Australian and New Zealand paediatric intensive care registry to enhance acute flaccid paralysis surveillance in Australia: a data-linkage study 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2013;13:384.
Australia uses acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) surveillance to monitor its polio-free status. The World Health Organization criterion for a sensitive AFP surveillance system is the annual detection of at least one non-polio AFP case per 100,000 children aged less than 15 years, a target Australia has not consistently achieved. Children exhibiting AFP are likely to be hospitalised and may be admitted to an intensive care unit. This provides a potential opportunity for active AFP surveillance.
A data-linkage study for the period from 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2008 compared 165 non-polio AFP cases classified by the Polio Expert Panel with 880 acute neurological presentations potentially compatible with AFP documented in the Australian and New Zealand Paediatric Intensive Care (ANZPIC) Registry.
Forty-two (25%) AFP cases classified by the Polio Expert Panel were matched to case records in the ANZPIC Registry. Of these, nineteen (45%) cases were classified as Guillain-Barré syndrome on both registries. Ten additional Guillain-Barré syndrome cases recorded in the ANZPIC Registry were not notified to the national AFP surveillance system.
The identification of a further ten AFP cases supports inclusion of intensive care units in national AFP surveillance, particularly specialist paediatric intensive care units, to identify AFP cases that may not otherwise be reported to the national surveillance system.
PMCID: PMC3765192  PMID: 23964831
Acute flaccid paralysis; Clinical surveillance; Poliovirus; Paediatric intensive care
19.  Missed opportunities to vaccinate children admitted to a paediatric tertiary hospital 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  2007;92(7):620-622.
Inequalities in vaccine uptake exist. Studies suggest paediatric inpatients have lower rates of immunisation uptake than the general population. Various UK policies advocate opportunistic immunisation.
To evaluate practice within a paediatric tertiary hospital in identifying and facilitating vaccination of inpatients who were not fully immunised.
Case notes for 225 inpatients were examined. Thirty staff of various professions and grades were interviewed. Policies, forms and documents used in the hospital were reviewed.
Immunisation status was recorded for 71% of children admitted, but for 69% of these immunisations were documented as “up‐to‐date” without any further information recorded. At least 20% of inpatients were incompletely immunised, but very little was done to facilitate vaccination. There was no training for staff either in giving advice or in administering vaccines and staff views differed regarding the hospital's role in immunisations. While there were guidelines for specific groups of patients, there were no general immunisation policies. Incorrect and out‐of‐date immunisation schedules were found on documents.
Opportunities to immunise children continue to be missed by all levels of health care service provision. Tertiary centres have a role to play in supporting primary care services to ensure that these vulnerable children are appropriately immunised. Measures are being taken to address the problems identified in this study and we strongly suspect that other hospitals in the UK ought to be confronting these issues as well.
PMCID: PMC2083800  PMID: 17213260
children; hospitals; inequalities; opportunistic immunisation; vaccinations
20.  Reasons for failure of immunization: A cross-sectional study among 12-23-month-old children of Lucknow, India 
Roughly 3 million children die every year of vaccine preventable diseases and a significant number of these children live in developing countries. The present study was conducted to assess the reasons for failure of immunization among 12-23-month-old children of Lucknow city in India.
Materials and Methods:
Out of all villages in rural areas and mohallas in urban areas of Lucknow district, eight villages and eight mohallas were selected by simple random sampling. A community based cross-sectional study was done among 450 children aged 12-23 months. The immunization status of the child was assessed by vaccination card and by mother's recall. A pre-designed and pre-tested questionnaire was used to elicit information on reasons for failure of immunization. Data was analysed using statistical package for social services (SPSS) version 11.5. Chi square test was used to find out the significant association.
Overall, 62.7% children were fully immunized, 24.4% children were partially immunized, and 12.9% children were not immunized. The major reasons for failure of immunization were postponing it until another time, child being ill and hence not brought to the centre for immunization, unaware of the need of immunization, place of immunization being too far, no faith in immunization, unaware of the need to return for 2nd and 3rd dose, mother being too busy, fear of side reactions, wrong ideas about immunization, and polio was considered only vaccine, and others.
More awareness should be generated among the people living in rural and urban areas to immunize their children.
PMCID: PMC3814854  PMID: 24223386
12-23 months children; immunization status; reasons for failure
21.  Risk factors for delay in age-appropriate vaccination. 
Public Health Reports  2004;119(2):144-155.
OBJECTIVE: To estimate the risk factors of children experiencing delay in age-appropriate vaccination using a nationally representative population of children, and to compare risk factors for vaccination delay with those based on up-to-date vaccination status models. METHODS: The authors compared predictors of delay in age-appropriate vaccination with those for children who were not up-to-date, using a nationally representative sample of children from five years of pooled data (1992-1996) from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) Immunization Supplement. Duration of delay was calculated for the DTP4, Polio3, MMR1 doses and 4:3:1 series using age-appropriate vaccination standards; up-to-date status (i.e., whether or not a dose was received) was also determined. Adjusted odds ratios were estimated using multivariate logistic regression for models of vaccination delay and up-to-date vaccination status. RESULTS: Absence of a two-parent household, large family size, parental education, Medicaid enrollment, absence of a usual provider, no insurance coverage, and households without a telephone were significantly related to increased odds of a child experiencing vaccination delay (p < or = 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Many of the risk factors observed in models of vaccination delay were not found to be significant in risk models based upon up-to-date status. Consequently, risk models of delays in age-appropriate vaccination may foster identification of children at increased risk for inadequate vaccination. Populations at increased risk of inadequate vaccination can be more clearly identified through risk models of delays in age-appropriate vaccination.
PMCID: PMC1497606  PMID: 15192901
22.  Factors influencing childhood influenza immunization 
FOLLOWING THE LAUNCH OF A PUBLICLY FUNDED influenza immunization program for all residents of Ontario over the age of 6 months, we evaluated 203 parents of children who presented to our emergency department between January and March of the following year (2001). Overall, 54 (27%) of the children had been vaccinated. Parents of non-immunized children were more likely to believe that immunization resulted in a flu-like illness (42% v. 17%; p = 0.001), caused side effects that were more severe than having influenza (36% v. 17%; p = 0.010) and weakened the immune system (52% v. 24%; p < 0.001). Parents of both immunized and non-immunized children incorrectly identified gastrointestinal symptoms as symptoms of influenza. The primary reason for deciding against immunization was the belief that their child was not at risk. After adjustment, children with a chronic disease were more likely than those without a chronic disease to be immunized (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 4.7, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.8–12.6). Children of parents who discussed immunization with a physician were more likely to be immunized than those who had not discussed immunization with a physician (OR 6.8, 95% CI 2.4–19.2).
PMCID: PMC139316  PMID: 12515783
23.  Characteristics and outcomes of children with enterostomy feeding tubes: A study of 325 children 
Paediatrics & Child Health  2001;6(3):132-137.
To examine the characteristics and outcomes of children with gastrostomy and gastrojejunostomy tubes inserted before age three years, and to identify the factors that predict removal of the enterostomy tubes within 12 months of insertion.
Case review of a consecutive sample of 325 medical records.
A tertiary care paediatric hospital that is situated in a large metropolitan area.
All outpatients and inpatients from birth to 36 months of age who had an enterostomy tube inserted from 1994 to 1996.
No direct intervention was provided. In the subgroup of 203 patients with a follow-up period of at least 12 months after tube insertion, children whose tubes were removed within 12 months of insertion were compared with children who continued to receive tube feedings for 12 months or longer.
At the time of tube insertion, the median age of patients was six months; 47% of the children for whom data were available were failing to thrive. Although 66 (21%) of 321 patients for whom data were available had their tubes removed, only 25 of the 203 (12%) patients with a follow-up period of 12 months or more had their tubes removed within 12 months of insertion. Children whose tubes were removed less than 12 months after insertion differed from children whose tubes were not removed with respect to medical diagnosis (no children with cerebral palsy had their tubes removed versus 33% of children with cancer who had their tube removed). Most children with failure to thrive at the time of tube insertion were also failing to thrive at the time of tube removal.
Children with cerebral palsy are not likely to have enterostomy tubes removed within one year of insertion.
PMCID: PMC2804527  PMID: 20084224
Cancer; Cerebral palsy; Childhood; Enteral tube feeding; Failure to thrive; Genetic disorders; Infancy
24.  Serological survey on immunity status against polioviruses in children and adolescents living in a border region, Apulia (Southern Italy) 
In 1988 the World Health Assembly adopted the goal to eradicate poliomyelitis by routine immunization using Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV). On 21 June 2002 the WHO European Region was declared polio-free. In 2008 poliomyelitis is still endemic in 4 countries (Nigeria, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan), where 1201 new cases were registered in 2007; 107 sporadic cases were also notified in countries where poliovirus is not endemic. The aim of this work was to verify the level of antipoliomyelitis immunity status in children and adolescents in the Apulia region (south of Italy), which may be considered a border region due to its position.
704 blood specimens from a convenience sample were collected in six laboratories. The age of subjects enrolled was 0–15 years. The immunity against poliomyelitis was evaluated by neutralizing antibody titration in tissue culture microplates.
Seropositivity (neutralising antibodies titre ≥ 8) for polioviruses 1, 2 and 3 was detected in 100%, 99.8% and 99.4% of collected sera. Antibody titres were not lower in subjects who received either four doses of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) or a sequential schedule consisting of two doses of IPV and two of oral polio vaccine than in subjects who received four doses of OPV.
These results confirmed current data of vaccine coverage for poliomyelitis: during the last ten years in Apulia, the coverage in 24 months old children was more than 90%. The high level of immunization found confirms the effectiveness both of the sequential schedule IPV-OPV and of the schedule all-IPV. Apulia region has to face daily arrivals of refugees and remains subject to the risk of the importation of poliovirus from endemic areas. Surveys aimed at determining anti-polio immunity in subpopulations as well as in the general population should be carried out.
PMCID: PMC2585574  PMID: 18973678
25.  Community-Acquired Poliovirus Infection in Children with Primary Immunodeficiencies in Tunisia 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2003;41(3):1203-1211.
The global polio eradication program recommends the use of massive vaccination campaigns with live vaccine through National Immunization Days (NIDs) to displace the wild virus from the community. Immunodeficient patients may be indirectly infected and become chronic excretors and potential reservoirs of polioviruses, a concern for the posteradication era. This prospective study aimed to assess the risk of community-acquired infection of immunodeficient patients following NIDs, the dynamics of viral excretion and the genetic variation of excreted viruses. Sixteen children with various primary immunodeficiencies, who did not receive the vaccine during the campaign, were investigated. Stool samples were collected weekly, shortly after the NIDs, during at least 3 months, and were processed for viral isolation. Isolates were characterized by three intratypic differentiation methods and partial sequencing of the VP1/2A region. Polioviruses were detected in 4 out of 16 patients (serotype 1 in 3 patients and serotype 3 in 1 patient). Sequencing revealed more than 99% homology with homotypic Sabin strains, suggesting recent infection. Duration of viral excretion ranged from 1 to 7 weeks. Nine out of eleven isolates from the three poliovirus serotype 1-infected patients disclosed a non-Sabin-like phenotype by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and had recurrent mutations within or close to the neutralizing antigenic sites. In summary, the risk of secondary infection in immunodeficient patients is within the range previously reported for the general population. Although none of the four infected patients developed prolonged viral excretion, particular viral variants were selected and may be of epidemiological significance.
PMCID: PMC150251  PMID: 12624052

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