Effect of COVID-19 on routine immunization schedule in Senegalese hospitals

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Published
2020
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Introduction: the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the world to implement drastic prevention methods based on limiting population movements that have an impact on public health policies, such as vaccination. The purpose of this work was to assess the effect of these preventive measures on routine immunization schedules in hospitals after the outbreak of this pandemic in Senegal. Methods: we conducted a retrospective cross-sectional study in the Vaccination Unit of the Abass NDAO hospital center in August 2020. We compared data from the Vaccination Unit over the period March-August of the last three years (2018, 2019 and 2020). The parameter studied was the number of vaccine doses administered in the different periods according to the expanded immunization program. Results: in April, the number of doses of vaccines given at 6 weeks was 36 in 2018, 29 in 2019 and 15 in 2020, reflecting a decrease of 50% compared to March. In July, the number of doses given was 40 in 2018, 35 in 2019 and 15 in 2020, reflecting a reduction of 42% compared to 2019. Conclusion: measures to combat this pandemic should not affect routine immunization programmes, especially in our resource-constrained country. It is essential to continue vaccination schedule for children and to identify children who have missed vaccine doses in order to implement catch-up vaccination.