Disclosures: Johri and Subramanian reported no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.
November 23, 2021
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2.9 million children reportedly unvaccinated in India

Disclosures: Johri and Subramanian reported no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.
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Despite large strides in vaccination, about 2.9 million children in India were not vaccinated in 2016, a study found.

According to the study, which was published in The Lancet Global Health last week, researchers analyzed 25 years of national survey data to see what factors shaped the chances of children in India remaining unvaccinated between 1992 and 2016.

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“It’s the first to trace aggregate patterns in zero-dose children over time globally and in India,” Mira Johri, PhD, MPH, principal scientist at the Université de Montréal Hospital Research Centre, said in a statement.

In four survey rounds, a total of 72,848 infants aged between 12 and 23 months were assessed.

“The weighted prevalence of zero-dose children declined by 23.3% over the four survey rounds, from 33.4% (95% CI, 32.5-34.2) in 1992 to 10.1% (95% CI, 9.8-10.4) in 2016,” the authors wrote.

S.V. Subramanian, PhD, MA, is a professor of population health and geography at Harvard University.

“Over the 24 years we analyzed, the proportion of zero dose-children in India declined by just over 23% in absolute terms, with more rapid reductions among the worst off,” Subramanian said. “This is a tremendous national achievement.”

Although the researchers found that the proportion of so called “zero-dose” children in India declined threefold, from 33% in 1992 to 10% in 2016, there were still around 2.9 million zero-dose children in India in 2016.

“Child zero-dose vaccination status is an important marker of vulnerability linked to systematic disadvantage over the life course,” Johri said. “Identifying zero-dose children and intervening early to address the complex sources of disadvantage they face has the potential to transform life opportunities and combat intergenerational inequities. It should be a top priority for the international community.”

Reference:

“Unvaccinated: The kids aren’t alright.” https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/934826. Published Nov. 16, 2021. Accessed Nov. 17, 2021.