JSI RESOURCES: Publications

Vaccination in Zambia: Health Worker Experiences Using 5-dose MR Vaccine


Many countries procure vaccines in multi-dose presentations. This can present difficulties for health care workers (HCWs) who wish to ensure high, timely coverage while minimizing vaccine wastage—especially for vaccines without preservatives that must be discarded 6 hours after the vial is opened.

In Zambia, the Dose Per Container Partnership (DPCP) examined the effect of providing measles-containing vaccine (MCV) in 5-dose vials rather than the customary 10-dose vials. This qualitative research (part of a larger research project, which is described in another document) focused on managers’ and providers’ experiences with this lower-dose presentation, including perceived advantages and challenges.

The main findings included:
1. When comparing a 10-dose vial to a 5-dose vial, district staff and HCWs felt that the 5-dose vial could help to reduce missed opportunities as they
would be more likely to open the vial when only a few eligible children were present.
2. Many HCWs said that the 5-dose vial increased efficiency by reducing time spent waiting for the minimum number of children to arrive, giving
them time to attend to other duties; but some said that reconstituting and transporting the lower-dose vials presented challenges.
3. Some HCWs reported that they are now vaccinating daily with the lower-dose presentation, while others retained scheduled vaccination sessions. JSI, 2018.

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