Impact of vaccine stock-outs on infant vaccination coverage: A hospital-based survey from South Africa

Rosemary J. Burnett*, Gloria Mmoledi, Ntombenhle J. Ngcobo, Carine Dochez, L. Mapaseka Seheri, M. Jeffrey Mphahlele

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: National population-based immunization coverage surveys provide data for validating official administrative coverage figures. However, these costly and logistically challenging surveys are conducted infrequently. This hospital-based records review determined coverage of birth-dose vaccines, fully immunized under 1-y-old coverage (FIC) of 12- to 59-mo-old children; and the reasons for missed vaccinations. Methods: Rotavirus surveillance in South Africa is based on under-5-y-old children being treated for diarrhoea, and includes photocopying the official vaccination document and collecting data on reasons for missed vaccinations. These data were captured from all 508 records collected from 2011 to 2014, and subjected to descriptive statistical analysis. Results: Bacille Calmette Guérin coverage was 99%; oral polio vaccine birth dose (OPV(0)) coverage was 99%. Coverage for 12- to 59-mo-olds ranged from 75% for the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine third dose to 99% for OPV(0). Several instances of subsequent doses being recorded without prior doses being received resulted in a FIC of 55%. In total, 207 vaccinations were missed by 88 children. Vaccine stock-outs were responsible for 62% of missed vaccinations. Conclusions: Efforts to improve vaccine stock management at facility and district levels should be implemented, and should include vaccinator training and supervision to eliminate vaccine stock-outs and missed vaccination opportunities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-381
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2018


  • Hospital-based survey
  • Immunization coverage
  • Missed vaccination opportunities
  • South Africa
  • Vaccine stock-outs


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