Title : Determinants of vaccine coverage and acceptability of malaria vaccine in children aged 6-23 months in Malawi: A healthcare provider’s perspective.
Malawi's 28 districts saw a rise in DPT3 coverage from 84% to 94% between 2016 and 2020, however, only 78% of the districts achieved >80% coverage. This indicates that there is still a gap in childhood vaccine coverage within the country.
The main objective of this research project was to evaluate the determinants of vaccination coverage and acceptability of the RTSS malaria vaccine in children aged 6-23 months in Malawi.
A systematic review of 12 full-text articles was conducted using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) framework to identify research articles that address the acceptability and coverage of vaccines in young children in Malawi. Secondly, a qualitative study design was conducted using purposive sampling of 20 healthcare workers at the Zomba District Health Office. Data were collected using in-depth telephonic interviews. Qualitative data were analysed using thematic content analysis to establish themes related to factors that affect the coverage and acceptability of the malaria RTSS vaccine.
Vaccine coverage and acceptability were affected by: limited transportation, limited immunisation training for healthcare providers, socioeconomic status of the caretaker, education of the mother, community knowledge of the vaccine, trust in the health system, male gender's influence on health decisions, the load and coherence of healthcare workers and caregivers, and the perceived malaria burden and effectiveness of the vaccine.
Health promotion efforts on increased immunization service resources, and healthcare worker training for immunization services can contribute to addressing low vaccine coverage and acceptance.