JSI RESOURCES: Publications

Measles Vaccination in Zambia: Balancing Coverage & Wastage


Zambia’s measles prevention initiative seeks to reach 95 percent of children each year through the routine immunization program. Currently Zambia recommends two doses of measles-containing vaccine (MCV) be delivered through the routine program at 9 months and 18 months of age.

Historically, however, MCV has been available in a 10-dose vial. This presents challenges to frontline health care workers (HCWs) who are attempting to reach every child in their community, since an opened vial must be discarded at the end of an immunization session or six hours after reconstitution, whichever occurs first.

The Dose Per Container Partnership (DPCP) quantified the coverage and timeliness of measles vaccination and investigated the views and behaviors of HCWs regarding the 10-dose vial presentation in 14 districts in two regions.

HCWs’ fear of wasting vaccine may contribute to Zambia’s inability to reach the 95 percent coverage target for the two MCV doses mandated by the government. HCWs need an approach for balancing the trade-offs between increasing timely coverage and minimizing wastage. Examining the impact of lower dose-per-container presentation may strengthen MCV delivery. JSI, 2017.

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