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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 119-123

The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on routine childhood immunization in Baghdad/Al-Karkh

Al-Salam Primary Health Care Center, Ministry of Health, Baghdad, Iraq

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mary Mohammed Sabri
AL-Salam Primary Health Care Center, Ministry of Health, Baghdad
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mj.mj_33_21

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Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is extensively impacting national and international public health. Routine childhood immunization is projected for being adversely affected by COVID-19 mitigation measures. Consequently, vaccine preventable disease outbreak might be a big problem to encounter in the near future. Objectives: The aim of the study is to evaluate the prevalence of vaccination delay and explore the barriers leading to that and parents' attitude toward the importance of vaccination timelines. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out during the period between of May 1st and of August 1st, 2021. A sample of 400 parents attending vaccination unit with their under 2-year-old children were selected from health-care centers from Al-Karkh directorate. Results: The study shows that 266 (66.5%) of the parents were mothers, 134 (33.5%) were fathers, 288 (72%) of them were aged 30 y ears or less, 210 (52.5%) of them were college graduate or higher educational level, 302 (75.5%) of them did not have a health worker in their family, 292 (73%) of them had <3 children. This study revealed that 274 (68.5%) of the parents reported a delay in their children's vaccination timeliness, 198 (49.5%) of which was significant delay of more than 1 month and 76 (19%) was a delay of 2–4 weeks only. 126 (31.5%) reported an on-time vaccination. This study also showed a highly significant association between vaccination delay and history of COVID-19 infection in the family. This study demonstrated that curfew and difficulty in transportation 154 (38.5%) and fear of getting COVID-19 infection 142 (35.5%) were the most encountered barriers for vaccination delay. This study also showed that 51% of the parents had good level of attitude toward the importance of vaccination timeliness for their children. In addition, it showed a significant association between the level of attitude with the age and educational level of the parents and with having a health worker in the family. Conclusion: We conclude that 68.5% of sample had vaccination delay since the COVID-19 pandemic has started and good level of attitude toward the importance of vaccination timeliness. This indicates the need for strict recommendation about the importance of routine immunization schedule and need to commit to it even during pandemic situations.

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