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Record high vaccination coverage of two-year-olds in 2016

More children are being vaccinated and the vast majority of children and young people are taking the vaccines recommended in the Norwegian Childhood Immunisation Programme. This is according to the national vaccination coverage statistics for 2016 that are issued by the Norwegian immunisation registry, SYSVAK.

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“This year's vaccination coverage shows a record high level for two-year-olds compared with previous years. We believe this is due to the hard work by the public health clinics,” says Sigrun Kongsrud, team leader for the Norwegian immunisation registry SYSVAK.

Vaccination coverage for nine and 16-year-olds is also high and stable.

“The positive trend for the vaccine against human papillomavirus (HPV) in the childhood immunisation programme is continuing and we now have a national coverage of over 80 per cent for fully vaccinated girls,” says Kongsrud.

All vaccinations given in the childhood immunisation programme are registered in SYSVAK. Coverage statistics show the number of children who are vaccinated according to the recommendations in the programme.

Vaccination coverage statistics are published for three age groups on county and national level: two, nine and 16-year-olds.

Two doses of MMR vaccine recommended

All children are recommended to receive two doses of MMR vaccine (measles, mumps and rubella) before the age of 16 years. The goal is to have at least 95 per cent vaccination coverage to prevent disease outbreaks. The MMR vaccine is recommended at age 15 months and 11 years (6th grade) in the childhood immunisation programme.

The 2016 coverage statistics show that the vast majority of two and nine-year-olds have received their first dose of MMR vaccine. However, the coverage of two doses for 16 year olds is only 91 per cent, and in three counties it is below 90 per cent. 97 per cent of 16-year-olds have received at least one dose of MMR.

“The low coverage for two doses of the MMR vaccine for 16-year-olds may be due to the lack of offer for a second dose. It is important that older children who did not follow the Norwegian childhood immunisation programme when they were younger are offered a second dose,” adds Kongsrud.

Challenges for municipalities

The vaccination coverage statistics are the minimum figures. Lower coverage in some cases may be due to technical problems with registration in SYSVAK, either within the local electronic patient record system (EPR) or in the communication between the EPR and SYSVAK. Lack of resources for registration of vaccines received prior to arrival in Norway is another important factor.

 “We see that the municipalities with adequate resources to ensure registration of earlier vaccinations have better vaccination coverage than the municipalities that cannot prioritise this,” says Kongsrud.

Stable and high vaccination coverage

The table below shows the national vaccination coverage levels for selected diseases.

Age

Diphtheria

Measles

HPV-infection (girls)

2

96 %

96 %

-

9

94 %

96 %

-

16

91 %

91 %

81 %