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Objective: To determine the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on vaccination of the children under two years of age. Study Design: An analytical cross-sectional study. Place and Duration of Study: A multi-center study conducted at the Children’s Hospital Lahore, Allama Iqbal Teaching Hospital, Sialkot and Idress Teaching Hospital, Sialkot over a period of 2 weeks. Material and Methods: We used a structured questionnaire to interview 345 participants, selected through non-probability convenience sampling. Results: A total of 345 children were enrolled, mean age was 7.74 ± 4.48 (range 1-24) months. In 158 (45.8%) children, vaccination during pandemic was complete, It was delayed in 117 (33.9%) and 70 (20.3%) children missed their vaccination. 14 (4%) participants missed BCG and OPV at birth, 31 (9%) missed first and 21 (6%) missed second dose of pneumococcal, pentavalent, rotavirus vaccine and oral polio vaccine (OPV). Whereas 19 (5.5 %) missed third dose of pneumococcal, pentavalent and OPV as well lPV, while 16(4.6 %) and 12 (3.4 %) missed first and second dose of measles vaccine. Fear of getting infected with COVID-19 was the major reason for missing and a transportation issue during lockdown was the commonest reason for delaying vaccination. Univariate analysis showed lower educational status of father, low monthly income and distance from vaccination center had significant impact on missing the vaccination. Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on routine immunization in Pakistan with a delay in one third and missed vaccination in 20% of children less than 2 years of age. The major factors responsible were the fear of getting COVID-19 infection and logistic issues.

WAJIHA RIZWAN, MUBEEN NAZAR DUGGA, MUHAMMAD NASIR RANA, Muhammad Rafique, Junaid Ghaffar, Masood Sadiq. (2021) Effect of COVID-19 Pandemic on Vaccination of Children Under Two Years of Age, Pakistan Pediatric Journal, Volume 45, Issue 2.
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