Analytical summary - Immunization and vaccines development
Neonatal tetanus is a major cause of early infant mortality in many developing countries, often due to failure to observe hygienic procedures during delivery. In Ethiopia, only 48% of births are protected against neonatal tetanus.
Since 2007, three doses of pentavalent vaccine (DTP-HepB-Hib) (diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis/hepatitis B/Haemophilus influenzae type B) have been given in place of three doses of DPT vaccine. The Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine is scheduled to be given at birth, while pentavalent and polio vaccines are given at approximately 3, 4 and 5 months of age. Measles vaccine is given when a child reaches 9 months of age or soon after. It is also recommended that children should receive the complete schedule of vaccinations before their first birthday, and that vaccinations should be recorded on a vaccination card given to the parents or guardians.
Overall, 75% of children aged 12–23 months are fully immunized. Over 66% of children receive BCG vaccine, 82% of children receive the first dose of polio vaccine, and 85% of children receive the first dose of DTP/pentavalent vaccine. Coverage rates for all three (DTP-HepB-Hib) vaccines have reached 85%, and 44% have completed the required polio vaccines. Vaccination coverage against measles is 82%.
Research and production of vaccines is conducted by the Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute. Two vaccines to prevent Streptococcus pneumonia and diarrhoea caused by rotavirus were introduced in 2010.