Childcare immunization programme – to what extent are children covered by vaccinations in Greenland?
Bjarnason Skifte, Turid
- Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
International Journal of Circumpolar Health
(issn: 1797-237X, eissn: 1239-9736)
diphteria, hepatitis, measles
Objectives: New vaccines in the child healthcare programme are regularly considered. When considering the introduction of the Hepatitis-B vaccine into the programme, it was asked to what extent children in Greenland were actually covered by the existing immunization series. Would introducing new vaccines make any sense if the percentage of children immunized was shown to be low? A telephone enquiry conducted in 2000 showed a tendency of very high percentage of full coverage per child (98-99 %) in small cities and settlements, as health visitors had a policy of checking up on the immunization status for each child. In big cities and Nuuk, parents alone have the responsibility of having their child immunized. The coverage was a guess of 85-95 % for infants, falling as the child grows older. Study design. Retrospective review of registration from all Greenlandic health districts. Methods. The registration included the number of immunized children in each group of age according to the childcare immunization programme. The collected data were compared to the number of children per age group in each health district. Results and conclusion. The conclusion must be taken with some reservation on the basis of several aspects of uncertainty. As a whole, the tendencies show reasonably high vaccination coverage countrywide, but variations between districts are great. A number of children probably have their vaccination postponed somewhat in relation to recommended age, but it is fairly evident that the majority of these children are dealt with later. The coverage in a few districts is lower than desired, especially concerning DiTe4 and MMR2.Keywords: diphteria, hepatitis, measles