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BackgroundThe global Immunisation Agenda 2030 highlights coverage and equity as a strategic priority goal to reach high equitable immunisation coverage at national levels and in all districts. We estimated inequities in full immunisation coverage associated with socioeconomic, geographic, maternal, child, and place of birth characteristics among children aged 12-23 months in Kenya.MethodsWe analysed full immunisation coverage (1-dose BCG, 3-dose DTP-HepB-Hib (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type B), 3-dose polio, 1-dose measles, and 3-dose pneumococcal vaccines) of 3943 children aged 12-23 months from the 2014 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey. We disaggregated mean coverage by socioeconomic (household wealth, religion, ethnicity), geographic (place of residence, province), maternal (maternal age at birth, maternal education, maternal marital status, maternal household head status), child (sex of child, birth order), and place of birth characteristics, and estimated inequities in full immunisation coverage using bivariate and multivariate logistic regression.ResultsImmunisation coverage ranged from 82% [81-84] for the third dose of polio to 97.4% [96.7-98.2] for the first dose of DTP-HepB-Hib, while full immunisation coverage was 68% [66-71] in 2014. After controlling for other background characteristics through multivariate logistic regression, children of mothers with primary school education or higher have at least 54% higher odds of being fully immunised compared to children of mothers with no education. Children born in clinical settings had 41% higher odds of being fully immunised compared to children born in home settings. Children in the Coast, Western, Central, and Eastern regions had at least 74% higher odds of being fully immunised compared to children in the North Eastern region, while children in urban areas had 26% lower odds of full immunisation compared to children in rural areas. Children in the middle and richer wealth quintile households were 43-57% more likely to have full immunisation coverage compared to children in the poorest wealth quintile households. Children who were sixth born or higher had 37% lower odds of full immunisation compared to first-born children.ConclusionsChildren of mothers with no education, born in home settings, in regions with limited health infrastructure, living in poorer households, and of higher birth order are associated with lower rates of full immunisation. Targeted programmes to reach under-immunised children in these subpopulations will lower the inequities in childhood immunisation coverage in Kenya.

Original publication





BMC infectious diseases

Publication Date





Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Geneva, Switzerland.


Humans, Health Surveys, Mothers, Socioeconomic Factors, Infant, Kenya, Female, Male, Health Equity, Vaccination Coverage