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Measuring national immunization system performance: A systematic assessment of available resources.

Patel C, Rendell N, Sargent GM, Ali A, Morgan C, Fields R, Sheel M

  • Journal Global Heal Science and Practice

  • Published 20 Jun 2023

  • Volume 11

  • ISSUE 3

  • Pagination e220055

  • DOI


Background: Vaccination coverage is widely used to assess immunization performance but, on its own, provides insufficient information to drive improvements. Assessing the performance of underlying components of immunization systems is less clear, with several monitoring and evaluation (M&E) resources available for use in different operational settings and for different purposes. We studied these resources to understand how immunization system performance is measured.

Methods: We reviewed peer-reviewed and gray literature published since 2000 to identify M&E resources that include national-level indicators measuring the performance of immunization systems or their components (governance, financing, regulation, information systems, vaccine logistics, workforce, service delivery, and demand generation). We summarize indicators by the system components or outcomes measured and describe findings narratively.

Results: We identified 20 resources to monitor immunization program objectives and guide national strategic decision-making, encompassing 631 distinct indicators. Indicators for immunization program outcomes comprised the majority (124/631 [19.7%]), largely vaccination coverage (110/124 [88.7%]). Almost all resources (19/20 [95%]) included indicators for vaccine logistics (83/631 [13.2%]), and those for regulation (19/631 [3.0%]) and demand generation (28/631 [4.4%]) were least common. There was heterogeneity in how information systems (92/563 [14.6%]) and workforce (47/631 [7.4%]) were assessed across resources. Indicators for vaccination coverage in adults, data use in decision-making, equity and diversity, effectiveness of safety surveillance, and availability of a public health workforce were notably lacking.

Conclusions: Between the resources identified in this review, we identified considerable variability and gaps in indicators assessing the performance of some immunization system components. Given the multitude of indicators, policymakers may be better served by tailoring evaluation resources to their specific context to gain useful insight into health system performance and improve data use in decision-making for immunization programs.