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    From 2006 to 2011 nearly 174,000 deaths were prevented in Latin America and the Caribbean through vaccination of children under five, which is widely attributed to the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI). Despite near global adoption of EPI recommendations, vaccination coverage shows substantial variation across world regions. Causes for low immunizations within regions are multifaceted and include vaccination program costs. To date, publications regarding vaccine coverage across Latin America and the Caribbean are not readily available. This study aimed to: (1) compare vaccine coverage trends across nations within the region; and (2) assess whether national immunization program expenditures are correlated with vaccine coverage. Coverage for nine vaccines were collected by nation using publicly available data from WHO. National immunization program expenditures for each country were collected from the World Bank Index. The proportion of countries achieving 90% coverage in the years 2013 and 2017 for each vaccine were compared. Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated to measure the relationship between financing variables and DTP3 coverage for 2017. In 2017, fewer Latin American and Caribbean nations were able to achieve 90% vaccine coverage for five vaccines compared to 2013. Mostly weak to moderate positive relationships were found between national immunization program expenditures and DTP3 coverage for 2017. Excluding Haiti, a weak negative relationship was found between total government expenditure on vaccines per infant and DTP3 coverage for 2017. Countries across Latin America and the Caribbean were largely self-reliant in funding vaccine expenditures. Fewer countries across Latin America and the Caribbean are currently achieving optimum national vaccine coverage and weak to moderate relationships between routine immunization and vaccine expenditures and coverage were observed. Additional factors contributing to national vaccine coverage should be concomitantly examined to implement strategies which optimize delivery of childhood immunizations. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


    Anthoni F Llau, Mark L Williams, Carlos Espinal Tejada. National vaccine coverage trends and funding in Latin America and the Caribbean. Vaccine. 2021 Jan 08;39(2):317-323

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    PMID: 33288342

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