Zero-dose children in Turkey: regional comparison of pooled data for the period 1990 to 2018

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Eryurt M. A., Yalçin S. S.

BMC INFECTIOUS DISEASES, vol.22, no.1, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 22 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1186/s12879-022-07416-0
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: Zero-dose children, Unvaccinated, Turkey, Demographic and Health Survey, Regional inequality, SOCIODEMOGRAPHIC FACTORS, IMMUNIZATION, COVERAGE
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Background Immunization plays a vital role in child health and survival. Zero-dose children are coming increasingly into focus as part of the global Immunization Agenda 2030. Although the percentage of zero-dose children has decreased in Turkey over time, regional/socioeconomic inequalities persist. This study aims to analyze the trend in zero-dose children and the factors associated with this problem in Turkey in light of regional inequalities. Methods Six data sets (1993, 1998, 2003, 2008, 2013, and 2018) were pooled from the last six Turkey Demographic and Health Surveys (TDHSs). The vaccination module for children aged 12-35 months and variables related to household characteristics, socio-economic, cultural characteristics of parents, bio-demographic/health-related factors were taken from the DHS data. Binary logistic regression analyses were carried out by taking into account the complex sample design of surveys for Turkey in general, the East region, and other regions. Results Significant progress has been made in reducing the number of zero-dose children in Turkey over the last three decades, as it has dropped from 3.2 to 0.9%. The results of multivariate analyses revealed that survey year, household wealth, the mother's level of education, payment of bride price, mother's native language, place of delivery, and the number of antenatal care visits are associated with zero-dose children. Factors associated with zero-dose children also differ between the East region, and other regions. Conclusion Public health programs targeting uneducated parents, poor households, lack of social security, Kurdish-speaking mothers, older mothers and those without antenatal care should be implemented to promote childhood immunization.