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Analytical summary - Immunization and vaccines development

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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.[1]

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.[1]

Vaccination coverage rates, Ethiopia, 1994–2003[2]

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%.[2]

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.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Ethiopian demographic and health survey, 2011 (pdf 683.08kb). Addis Ababa, Central Statistics Agency; Calverton Maryland, ICF Macro
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Health Sector Development Program IV. Annual performance report. Addis Ababa, Government of Ethiopia, Ministry of Health, 2011