Awareness of the mothers about Expanded Programme on Immunization and relation of immunization coverage with maternal education and Covid-19 Pandemic Lockdown
Keywords:Expanded Program of Immunization (EPI), Maternal Education, Covid-19, Vaccination, Awareness
Background: Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) prevents childhood fatal illnesses, and better coverage will raise herd immunity.
Objective: To assess the knowledge of the mothers about Expanded Programme on Immunization of childhood vaccinations and relationship of the immunization coverage with mother's education and Covid-19 pandemic lock-down.
Methodology: It was a cross-sectional study, conducted by using a pretested questionnaire. Settings: Paediatric outpatient department and EPI centre, Sadiq Abbasi Hospital Bahawalpur from 1st September to 15th November 2021. A total of 200 multigravida mothers having children <5 years, were included by convenient sampling technique. Data were collected through a proforma, containing information about demographic characteristics, EPI coverage of the child, and mothers' knowledge and attitude towards the EPI program. Data were analyzed with the help of SPSS version 21.
Results: Among the total of 200 mothers, more than 90% were housewives and only 20% with more than 12 years of formal education. Only 3% of mothers answered correctly about the exact number of EPI vaccines. The awareness about the individual vaccine was 28% to 33%, except in the polio vaccine it was 70%, and in measles, it was 95%. Half of the mothers answered that EPI vaccines are safe, and half believe that they are effective as well. Working women and mothers with higher education status vaccinated themselves against covid-19 and also vaccinated their children according to the EPI schedule.
Conclusion: Awareness regarding EPI is poor and maternal education status significantly affects EPI knowledge and practices, additionally covid-19 pandemic also affected the EPI practices.