Nationwide vaccination coverage study for children aged 2 years old

According to the National Immunization Schedule, systematic monitoring of vaccination coverage is one of the indicators for evaluating the level of public health in a country. In many developed countries, systematic monitoring of the children population’s vaccination status is performed either through studies conducted nationally on a regular basis or through a national vaccine registry. The purpose of these assessments is to draw inferences about the parameters, monitor the applications and make periodic adjustments of the vaccination strategies in each country.

Monitoring a population’s vaccination coverage is a strategy of the World Health Organization (WHO) and, as a result, information on the children’s vaccination status of our country is requested on a regular basis from a large number of international organizations (WHO, EU, ECDC, OECD, etc.). These data comprise an important tool for the implementation of targeted interventions against epidemics, which have occurred frequently in recent years.

In our country, there have been several studies assessing childhood vaccination, four at a national level. The latest used a national sample of first-grade pupils to update information on the children’s immunization status.

In order to comply with the requirements of international organizations, and under the advice of WHO, the Office for Vaccine Preventable Diseases of the Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention (HCDCP) deemed it appropriate to conduct a nationwide vaccination coverage study for children aged 2years old (born from January 2010 to January 2011) and record the childcare facilities in our country.

Following approval by the Ministry of Interior Affairs, crèches and kindergartens were selected through random sampling, and vaccination coverage data from attendees aged 2years old were collected.A study protocol was created, as well as a database for registering data. The scientific and administrative personnel of the Office for Vaccine Preventable Diseases recorded data into the database from the children’s health booklets, and analyzed the findings.

After the study is completed, the results will be disseminated. The results will only be used to serve public health and contribute to vaccination policies and preventative measures.

Theano Georgakopoulou, Head of the Department of Epidemiological
Surveillance and Intervention, HCDCP