Expanding rotavirus vaccination coverage in Pakistan would greatly reduce deaths, especially among the poorest children

A cost-effectiveness analysis of rotavirus vaccination in Pakistan found that, if rotavirus vaccination coverage was equally high across regions and income groups, the percent reduction in deaths due to rotavirus would be 4 times greater in the highest risk regions than in the lowest-risk regions, and would be 3-4 times greater among children in the poorest versus the wealthiest households.

Expanding vaccination coverage among the poorest and most vulnerable children would substantially increase the overall impact of rotavirus immunization in Pakistan.

Immunization against rotavirus is cost-effective, especially in poorer regions, saving lives and reducing disabilities

According to a cost-effectiveness study of rotavirus vaccination in Pakistan, the vaccine would be the most cost-effective in the poorer provinces of Sindh and Balochistan (that also have the highest rates of death from rotavirus)- with a cost per disability-adjust life year averted $155-$167 compared to almost $600 in the wealthier region of Islamabad. Within all regions, vaccination was the most cost-effective among the two poorest income groups (quintiles), and was almost 12 times more cost-effective in the poorest households in the most marginalized region than in the wealthiest households in the most advantaged region (cost/DALY averted of $76 vs. $897).

Efforts to eradicate polio have also led to improved access to other vaccines

The expertise and assets gained through efforts to eradicate polio at least partially explain the improvement between 2013 and 2015 in vaccination coverage of DPT3 in six out of ten “focus” countries of the Polio Eradication Endgame strategic plan. This includes substantial increases in vaccination rates in India, Nigeria, and Ethiopia, which, combined, reduced the number of children not fully vaccinated with DPT by 2 million in 2 years.

Mothers with higher education are more likely to vaccinate their children, leading to better immunization rates

A study conducted in Pakistan, designed to explore the association of maternal education and empowerment with childhood polio vaccination, showed that mothers with more education are more likely to vaccinate their children – 74% of children of mothers with higher education were completely vaccinated compared to 67% of those with primary education and only 47% of those with no education.

Children of wealthier mothers in Pakistan have higher polio vaccination rates compared to poorer mothers

In a study designed to explore the association of maternal education and empowerment with childhood polio vaccination rates in Pakistani mothers, it was observed that the highest percentage of completely vaccinated children (72.6%) was seen among mothers of the richest quintile, followed by 63.4%, 58.0%, 49.8%, and 39% for the richer, middle, poorer, and poorest wealth quintiles, respectively.

Vaccine-preventable diarrhea is linked to poor growth

A prospective case-control study conducted in several developing countries found that children with moderate-to-severe diarrhea grew significantly less in length in the two months following their episode compared to age- and gender-matched controls.