Tetanus vaccination during pregnancy in India reduces delayed vaccination in children, especially for those born at home

In India, children whose mothers received tetanus vaccination during their pregnancy were 22-31% less likely to have delayed vaccination (depending on the vaccine) than children of unvaccinated mothers. Those born at home were nearly 3 times more likely to receive BCG vaccination late and 41% more likely to receive their first dose of DTP late than those born in a public health facility.

Immunization with PCV7 and PCV13 vaccines reduced pneumonia hospitalizations in adults, including the elderly

According to some studies, hospitalizations from all causes of pneumonia declined in 18-39 year old adults in the U.S. by 26% 4 years after PCV7 vaccine was included in the infant vaccination schedule and by a further 12% with the first 2 years after PCV13 replaced PCV7. Though reductions in older age groups were not statistically significant, other U.S. studies showed significant reductions in pneumonia hospitalization rates in all adult age groups, including the elderly.

Investing in maternal health improves immunization rates and overall health of mothers and children

Use of recommended maternal health care services — defined as at least 4 antenatal care visits, having a skilled attendant at birth, and delivery in a health facility — was a predictor of timely vaccination of mothers’ infants in a study conducted in Ghana. Compared to children whose mothers received one or two of these services, infants born to mothers who received all three interventions were roughly 30% more likely to be fully vaccinated by 12-23 months of age, while children whose mothers received none of these services were only about half as likely to be fully vaccinated. Investing in maternal health, which creates familiarity with the health system and increases mothers’ knowledge about disease prevention, can improve the health of both the mother and her children beyond infancy.

Immunization rates increase when Ethiopian mothers receive maternal health services

Ethiopian mothers use of any of three maternal health services — antenatal care, delivery services, or tetanus vaccination — significantly increased the likelihood of their children being fully immunized by 12-23 months of age. Therefore, national immunization initiatives should concentrate on improving access of pregnant women to these key maternal health services.

Efforts to eliminate measles can improve national health systems

Efforts to eliminate measles — which has been called a public health “canary in the coalmine” since it’s a sign of weak health systems — can also serve to strengthen immunization programs as well as the broader health systems. These efforts include improving infection prevention and control practices in health care facilities, disease surveillance and outbreak detection systems, and countries’ ability to prepare for and respond to infectious disease outbreaks.

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.

Immunization against rotavirus reduced hospitalizations in both children and adults via herd protection

Several studies in the U.S. have shown that hospitalizations due to rotavirus fell sharply in children too old to be vaccinated as well as in adults after rotavirus vaccines were introduced, indicating herd protection. In one large study, rotavirus hospitalizations in 2008 — two years after the first vaccine was introduced — declined by 71% in 5-14 year old children and by 65% in 15-24 year olds compared to the pre-vaccine period.

Immunization against rotavirus significantly reduced hospitalizations and emergency visits in children

Prior to the introduction of rotavirus vaccines in the U.S., there were an estimated 205,000 – 272,000 emergency department visits and 55,000 – 70,000 hospitalizations due to rotavirus in children each year. A series of studies found that hospitalizations in children under five due to rotavirus declined, on average by 80% from the pre-vaccine to the post-vaccine era, while both outpatient visits and emergency department visits due to rotavirus declined 57%.