RESEARCH – January 2020

Coverage of immunization schedule vaccinations among Estonian preschool children on the basis of Estonian health insurance claims of the 2010 birth cohort

Authors: Sirli Tamm, Evelin Raie, Ruth Käär, Marek Oja, Sulev Reisberg

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Abstract

Background and goals. There is a lack of evidence about how many children have completed all immunizations according to the national immunization schedule. The aim of the study was to estimate coverage with immunization schedule vaccinations among Estonian pre-school children.

Methods. The insurance claims submitted to Estonian Health Insurance Fund by family doctors and medical specialists (n=1 091 275) for all children born in 2010, who used health care services in Estonia in 2010–2018 (n=16 464), were analysed. The immunization coverage among 3- and 8-year-old children was estimated and compared to national component-based vaccination statistics.

Results and conclusions. Based on the insurance claims, 68.9% of the 3-year-old children had received all the vaccines according to the Estonian immunization schedule, 24.4% had followed the schedule partially, and 6.7% had not been vaccinated at all. Among the 8-year-old children, the figures were 49.5%, 43.9% and 6.5%, accordingly. Thus, the number of children who had completed all immunizations according to the immunization schedule is lower than one could expect from the national component-based coverage statistics. Most often DTPa-IPV(-Hib) re-vaccinations were not completed on time.