Predictors of optional immunization uptake in an urban south Indian population

Kalpana Manthiram, Emily A. Blood, Vasanthan Kuppuswamy, Yolanda Martins, Athi Narayan, Kelly Burmeister, K. Parvathy, Areej Hassan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: In Tamil Nadu, India, bacille Calmette-Guérin, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, oral poliomyelitis, hepatitis B, and measles vaccines are part of the routine immunization schedule and are available free from government health centers. All other vaccines are optional and available in the private sector at a cost to families. This study assesses immunization rates of routine and optional vaccines and examines parental attitudes toward vaccines in Pallavapuram, Tamil Nadu. Methods: The cluster sampling method was used to estimate immunization coverage. Seven children 18 to 36 months old were selected from 30 clusters for a total sample of 210 children. Demographics and vaccination data were collected from interviews and immunization records. Predictors of vaccination status were identified with logistic regression models. In addition, 21 parents participated in semi-structured interviews regarding their attitudes toward vaccination. Interviews were analyzed qualitatively for themes. Results: Eighty one percent of children were fully immunized with routine vaccines. However, only 21% received all "major" optional vaccines, defined as 3 doses of Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine, one dose of measles, mumps, rubella vaccine, and one dose of varicella zoster virus vaccine. Birth in a private hospital (OR 5.6, 95% CI 1.3 to 22.9, P< 0.01), higher income (P= 0.03), and maternal completion of high school (OR 6.4, 95% CI 1.5 to 27.6, P< 0.01) were significant predictors of receiving all major optional vaccines. Elucidated themes from interviews included (1) strong parental support for immunizations, (2) low concern for side effects, and (3) low uptake of optional vaccines due to high cost and lack of awareness. Conclusions: Coverage of optional vaccines is low despite positive attitudes toward immunizations. Efforts to reduce cost and increase awareness of these vaccines particularly among low-income families or to include these vaccines in the routine schedule may increase uptake and reduce morbidity and mortality from vaccine-preventable diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3417-3423
Number of pages7
Issue number27
StatePublished - Jun 5 2014


  • Immunization coverage
  • Optional immunizations
  • Parental attitudes


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