An equity impact analysis of the 2016 Ethiopia Demographic and Health Survey dataset identified significant disparities in full immunization coverage across different regions of Ethiopia among children aged up to 36 months. Children in the Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa regions of Ethiopia were 7 times more likely to have full vaccination coverage compared to children living in the Afar region, a rural region with large numbers of pastoralist nomadic communities.
According to a systematic review and meta-analysis, children who are rural-urban migrants in China, India and Nigeria were less likely to be fully-immunized by the age of one year than non-migrant urban residents and the general population. These inequities in vaccination rates — often concealed in national averages — call for special efforts to improve immunization rates in this rapidly growing sub-population to reduce both health inequities and the risk of infectious disease outbreaks in the wider society.
Children in Shanghai, China whose families migrated from rural areas — now roughly 40% of the city’s total population — are half as likely as “local” children to receive the first dose of measles vaccine by 9 months of age and 42% less likely to receive the second measles dose by 24 months. The lower rates of timely first dose measles vaccination among rural migrants vs. local children — 78% vs. 89% – – are a key obstacle to measles elimination in China. This indicates a need to specifically target non-local children for vaccination, especially those living in primarily migrant communities.
Children living in urban areas in India were significantly more likely to be only partially immunized compared to children in rural areas. In this study, the authors suggest this may be the result of the tendency for those living in urban slums to move frequently, resulting in only partial immunization. No significant difference was found in rates of non-vaccination (children receiving no vaccines) in rural versus urban communities.
Full immunization coverage, within the Democratic Republic of Congo, varies drastically by region. In the province with the lowest coverage, approximately 5% of children were fully immunized, while in the province with highest coverage, over 70% of children were fully immunized.
In an analysis of of data from India’s National Family Health Survey showed that, despite a decline in urban-rural and gender differences over time, girls and children residing in rural areas remained disadvantaged. Moreover, regions that had the lowest gender inequality in 1992 observed an increase in gender difference over time. Similarly, urban-rural inequality increased in one region during the data collection period.
Children in slum settings have higher burdens of vaccine-preventable disease (one study found children in slums in Manila, Philippines were 9 times more likely to have tuberculosis than other urban children) and lower rates of immunization (a study in Niger found 35% coverage in slums vs. 86% in non-slum urban areas).
Globally, coverage of the third dose of DTP is 8% higher among urban dwellers compared to children raised in a rural environment.