Dataset Information


Assessing the quality and accuracy of national immunization program reported target population estimates from 2000 to 2016.



A common means of vaccination coverage measurement is the administrative method, done by dividing the aggregated number of doses administered over a set period (numerator) by the target population (denominator). To assess the quality of national target populations, we defined nine potential denominator data inconsistencies or flags that would warrant further exploration and examination of data reported by Member States to the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF between 2000 and 2016.

Methods and findings

We used the denominator reported to calculate national coverage for BCG, a tuberculosis vaccine, and for the third dose of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis-containing (DTP3) vaccines, usually live births (LB) and surviving infants (SI), respectively. Out of 2,565 possible reporting events (data points for countries using administrative coverage with the vaccine in the schedule and year) for BCG and 2,939 possible reporting events for DTP3, 194 and 274 reporting events were missing, respectively. Reported coverage exceeding 100% was seen in 11% of all reporting events for BCG and in 6% for DTP3. Of all year-to-year percent differences in reported denominators, 12% and 11% exceeded 10% for reported LB and SI, respectively. The implied infant mortality rate, based on the country's reported LB and SI, would be negative in 9% of all reporting events i.e., the country reported more SI than LB for the same year. Overall, reported LB and SI tended to be lower than the UN Population Division 2017 estimates, which would lead to overestimation of coverage, but this difference seems to be decreasing over time. Other inconsistencies were identified using the nine proposed criteria.


Applying a set of criteria to assess reported target populations used to estimate administrative vaccination coverage can flag potential quality issues related to the national denominators and may be useful to help monitor ongoing efforts to improve the quality of vaccination coverage estimates.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6615593 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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