Introduction: Childhood vaccination plays a key role in reducing morbidity and mortality from vaccine-preventable diseases. Numerous studies have assessed the influence of demographic and socioeconomic factors on child immunization around the world. There are few such studies in Afghanistan, however. Therefore, this study aimed to identify factors influencing vaccination status among children age 12–23 months in Afghanistan.
Methods: Nationally representative data from the 2015 Afghanistan Demographic and Health Survey were used for this study. A sample of 5,708 children age 12-23 months with a vaccine card and immunization history was analyzed. Multinomial logistic regression was used to identify significant relationships between cofactors and vaccination status.
Results: In the study, half of the subjects were boys (51%), almost half were born at home (48%), and about three-quarters were residents of rural areas (76%). Background characteristics positively associated with vaccination status included delivery in a health facility, maternal age 30-39, attending at least four visits for antenatal care (ANC), health facility visit in the past 12 months, paternal professional occupation, and family in the richer wealth index.
In bivariate analysis, the central region showed the highest prevalence of full vaccination among children age 12-23 months. Controlling for cofactors, however, children in the northeast region were more likely to be vaccinated compared with children in the central region, while children in the southern region were less likely to be fully vaccinated.
Conclusion: This study identified maternal age, ANC visits, place of delivery, health facility visits in past 12 months, paternal occupation, wealth quintile, and geographic region as the factors influencing child’s vaccination status in Afghanistan.