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BackgroundThe World Health Organization approved the RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine for wider rollout, and Kenya participated in a phased pilot implementation from 2019 to understand its impact under routine conditions. Vaccine delivery requires coverage measures at national and sub-national levels to evaluate progress over time. This study aimed to estimate the coverage of the RTS,S/AS01 vaccine during the first 36 months of the Kenyan pilot implementation.MethodsMonthly dose-specific immunization data for 23 sub-counties were obtained from routine health information systems at the facility level for 2019-2022. Coverage of each RTS,S/AS01 dose was determined using reported doses as a numerator and service-based (Penta 1 and Measles) or population (projected infant populations from WorldPop) as denominators. Descriptive statistics of vaccine delivery, dropout rates and coverage estimates were computed across the 36-month implementation period.ResultsOver 36 months, 818,648 RTSS/AS01 doses were administered. Facilities managed by the Ministry of Health and faith-based organizations accounted for over 88% of all vaccines delivered. Overall, service-based malaria vaccine coverage was 96%, 87%, 78%, and 39% for doses 1-4 respectively. Using a population-derived denominator for age-eligible children, vaccine coverage was 78%, 68%, 57%, and 24% for doses 1-4, respectively. Of the children that received measles dose 1 vaccines delivered at 9 months (coverage: 95%), 82% received RTSS/AS01 dose 3, only 66% of children who received measles dose 2 at 18 months (coverage: 59%) also received dose 4.ConclusionThe implementation programme successfully maintained high levels of coverage for the first three doses of RTSS/AS01 among children defined as EPI service users up to 9 months of age but had much lower coverage within the community with up to 1 in 5 children not receiving the vaccine. Consistent with vaccines delivered over the age of 1 year, coverage of the fourth malaria dose was low. Vaccine uptake, service access and dropout rates for malaria vaccines require constant monitoring and intervention to ensure maximum protection is conferred.

Original publication





Malaria journal

Publication Date





Population & Health Impact Surveillance Group, KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Nairobi, Kenya.


Humans, Measles, Malaria Vaccines, Biological Transport, Child, Infant, Kenya, Health Information Systems