Immunization coverage can be defined as the percent of people who receive one or more vaccine(s) of interest in relation to the overall population. For example, immunization coverage for influenza among people aged 65 years and over is calculated as:
· Measure how many people are protected against vaccine-preventable diseases within the overall population
· Identify ‘populations’ (e.g. people living in certain communities) that have low vaccine coverage in order to explore reasons for low coverage
In British Columbia, immunization coverage is routinely measured for:
· Children at the 2nd birthday
· School-age children
· Influenza vaccine recipients
Monitoring trends in coverage is important in order to identify the potential for outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases (i.e., when coverage rates drop in a population, that population has increased chances of having a vaccine-preventable disease outbreak). In addition, monitoring also guides the BCCDC to recommend where public health should allocate its resources, such as to improving access to immunization services or to public education efforts.
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