Measuring populations to improve vaccination coverage

Nita Bharti, Ali Djibo, Andrew J. Tatem, Bryan T. Grenfell, Matthew J. Ferrari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

In low-income settings, vaccination campaigns supplement routine immunization but often fail to achieve coverage goals due to uncertainty about target population size and distribution. Accurate, updated estimates of target populations are rare but critical; short-term fluctuations can greatly impact population size and susceptibility. We use satellite imagery to quantify population fluctuations and the coverage achieved by a measles outbreak response vaccination campaign in urban Niger and compare campaign estimates to measurements from a post-campaign survey. Vaccine coverage was overestimated because the campaign underestimated resident numbers and seasonal migration further increased the target population. We combine satellite-derived measurements of fluctuations in population distribution with high-resolution measles case reports to develop a dynamic model that illustrates the potential improvement in vaccination campaign coverage if planners account for predictable population fluctuations. Satellite imagery can improve retrospective estimates of vaccination campaign impact and future campaign planning by synchronizing interventions with predictable population fluxes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number34541
JournalScientific reports
Volume5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 5 2016

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