VoICE : Search Immunization Evidence

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The VoICE tool is a compendium of the many direct and downstream impacts of vaccine-preventable disease and immunization. The database contains summary explanations of the link between immunization and each impact, as well as sources of evidence for each link. You can browse the VoICE tool by topic, or use the filters to find results based on topic, disease or vaccine, location and published year.

20 Key Ideas, 17 Sources
Key Idea

An analysis of undernutrition and mortality in young children found that among the principal causes of death, 60.7% of deaths as a result of diarrhea, 52.3% of deaths as a result of pneumonia, 44.8% of deaths as a result of measles, and 57.3% of deaths as a result of malaria are attributable to undernutrition.

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Key Idea

The occurence of stunting in children, measured at age 24 months, increased with each diarrheal episode and with each day of diarrhoea prior to their second birthday. The adjusted odds of stunting increased by 13% for every five episodes.  In addition, once a child becomes stunted, only 6% of those stunted at 6 months of age recovered by 24 months of age.

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Key Idea

A study modeling the relationship between disease and poverty in Ethiopia found that among the top 20 causes of death in Ethiopia, diarrhea and lower respiratory infections (LRIs) are the top two drivers of medical impoverishment. It is estimated that in 2013, out-of-pocket direct medical costs for diarrheal disease drove an estimated 164,000 households below the poverty line (representing 47% of all the diarrhea cases), and LRIs led to an estimated 59,000 cases of poverty (17% of LRI cases). Of the top 10 health-associated drivers of poverty, four are at least partially vaccine-preventable (1. Diarrhea, 2. LRI, 4. TB. 10. Pertussis).

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Key Idea

A study of children under 5 years of age in Dhaka Bangladesh found that severely malnourished children were at a significantly increased risk (nearly 8x) of death from diarrhea than those who were not severely malnourished.

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Key Idea

Those who experienced more frequent or longer episodes of diarrhea as an infant, were a more likely to have metabolic syndrome as adults. A longitudinal study in Guatemala found that diarrhea episodes in early infancy are associated with chronic health issues later in life. Each 1% increase in diarrhea burden in children 0-6 months was associated with a 3% increased prevalence in high blood pressure in adulthood. Similarly, a 1% increase in diarrhea burden in older infants 6-12 months was associated with a 4% increased prevalence in elevated waist circumference in adulthood.

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Key Idea

Children with rotavirus experience longer hospital stays than children with non-rotavirus diarrhea. In a study looking at the direct and indirect costs of treating rotavirus in Malaysia, rotavirus hospitalizations cost families 26% of their average total monthly household income, which was significantly higher than the cost for non-rotavirus diarrhea hospitalizations.

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Key Idea

A 2017 study in Malawi found that the household costs associated with an episode of childhood diarrhea exceeded monthly income in a significant number of cases (in 17% of cases where children were admitted to the hospital, and in 9% of cases where children were treated as outpatients). These costs were significant enough to push families from each income strata below the national poverty line for the month in which the illness took place.

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Key Idea

A large longitudinal study in the Philippines found that children suffering bouts of diarrhea and respiratory infections were at a significantly increased risk of physical stunting, which is associated with “poor functional outcomes such as impaired cognitive development.

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Children in a Brazilian Shantytown with a high incidence of diarrhea in the first two years of life scored significantly lower on 3/5 types of tests measuring cognitive function at ages 6-10 compared to children who did not suffer recurrent bouts of early childhood diarrhea.

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Key Idea

In a study of children in a Brazilian shantytown, researchers found that the greater number of episodes of persistent diarrhea before age two, the more delayed a child was in terms of school readiness. Overall, each episode of diarrhea delayed a child’s starting school by 0.7 months. Likewise, 6-10 years later, increasing episodes of diarrhea before age two predicted delays in age-appropriate educational attainment.

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Key Idea

An analysis of data from the 2011 Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey investigated the relationship between individual- and community-levels of women’s autonomy and children’s immunization status. The results show that community-level autonomy is associated with an increased number of children’s immunizations above and beyond that of individual-level women’s autonomy. These results indicate that empowering women within households not only improves the individual mother’s children’s health, but also serves to improve the lives of other children within the community.

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Key Idea

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).

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Key Idea

A study of children under 5 years of age in Dhaka Bangladesh found that severely malnourished children were at a significantly increased risk (nearly 8x) of death from diarrhea than those who were not severely malnourished.

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A study of Kenyan children under 5 years of age found that immunization with polio, BCG, DPT and measles to be protective against stunting in young children (27% less likely to be stunted than unimmunized children under age 2 years). In addition, children with diarrhea and cough in the 2 weeks prior to the survey were 80-90% more likely to be underweight or to suffer from wasting.

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An analysis of undernutrition and mortality in young children found that among the principal causes of death, 60.7% of deaths as a result of diarrhea, 52.3% of deaths as a result of pneumonia, 44.8% of deaths as a result of measles, and 57.3% of deaths as a result of malaria are attributable to undernutrition.

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Key Idea

A study of Kenyan children under 5 years of age found that immunization with polio, BCG, DPT and measles to be protective against stunting in young children; 27% less likely to be stunted than unimmunized children under age 2 years. In addition, children with diarrhea and cough in the 2 weeks prior to the survey were 80-90% more likely to be underweight or to suffer from wasting.

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Key Idea

In a study in Rwanda, the number of admissions to hospital for diarrhea and rotavirus fell substantially after rotavirus vaccine implementation, including among older children age-ineligible for vaccination, suggesting indirect protection through reduced transmission of rotavirus. Two years after rotavirus vaccine introduction, the country saw nearly 400 fewer hospital admissions for diarrhea among young children at 24 district hospitals.

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Key Idea

Multiple studies show that

  1. Diarrhea and pneumonia impair children’s growth and that underlying malnutrition is a major risk factor for these conditions.
  2. Episodes of diarrhea may predispose to pneumonia in undernourished children” and
  3. Immunization against influenza [in mothers] and Streptococcus pneumoniae may improve infant growth. In addition, new studies from Bangladesh, Colombia, Ghana and Israel further support the paradigm that malnutrition is a key risk factor for diarrhea and pneumonia.

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Key Idea

A large longitudinal study in the Philippines found that children suffering bouts of diarrhea and respiratory infections were at a significantly increased risk of physical stunting, which is associated with “poor functional outcomes such as impaired cognitive development.”

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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.

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A study of Kenyan children under 5 years of age found that children with diarrhea and cough in the 2 weeks prior to the survey were 80-90% more likely to be underweight or to suffer from wasting.

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Key Idea

In a recent review of data from developing countries, researchers found that “episodes of diarrhea may predispose to pneumonia in undernourished children.”

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Key Idea

Children [in slums] suffer from higher rates of diarrhoeal and respiratory illness, malnutrition and have lower vaccination rates. Mothers residing in slums are more poorly educated and less likely to receive antenatal care and skilled birth assistance.

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Key Idea

Two years after rotavirus vaccine introduction in Rwanda, the country saw nearly 400 fewer hospital admissions for diarrhea among young children at 24 district hospitals.

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In a Bangladeshi study, pneumonia and acute diarrhea were the first and third most common reasons for childhood hospital admission with over half (54%) of the acute diarrhea admissions caused by rotavirus. One in four children taken to this large pediatric hospital were refused admission because all beds were occupied. Vaccination could have prevented children with rotavirus from requiring essential hospital resources when one in four children refused admission had symptoms of pneumonia.

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Key Idea

Among the principal causes of death in young children, 60.7% of deaths as a result of diarrhea, 52.3% of deaths as a result of pneumonia, 44.8% of deaths as a result of measles, and 57.3% of deaths as a result of malaria are attributable to under nutrition.

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