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Objectives The designing of contextually tailored sustainable plans to finance the procurement of vaccines and the running of appropriate immunisation programmes are necessary to address the high burden of vaccine-preventable diseases and low immunisation coverage in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). We sought to estimate the minimum fraction of a country's health budget that should be invested in national immunisation programmes to achieve national immunisation coverage of 80% or greater depending on the context, with and without donors' support. Design Multicountry analysis of secondary data using retrieved publicly available data from the WHO, Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) and World Bank databases. Setting Data on 24 SSA countries, between 2013 and 2017. Methods We model the variations in immunisation coverage across the different SSA countries using a fractional logit model. Three different generalised linear models were fitted to explore how various explanatory variables accounted for the variability in each of the three different vaccines - measles-containing vaccine (MCV)1, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus (DPT3) and BCG. Results We observed an association between current health expenditure (as a percentage of gross domestic product) and immunisation coverage for BCG (OR=1.01, 95% CI: 1.01 to 1.04, p=0.008) and DPT3 (OR=1.01, 95% CI: 1.0 to 1.02, p=0.020) vaccines. However, there was no evidence to indicate that health expenditure on immunisation (as a proportion of current health expenditure) could be a strong predictor of immunisation coverage (DPT, OR 0.96 (95% CI 0.78 to 1.19; p=0.702); BCG, OR 0.91 (0.69 to 1.19; p=0.492); MCV, OR 0.91 (0.69 to 1.19; p=0.482)). We demonstrate in selected countries that to achieve the GAVI target of 80% in the countries with low DPT3 coverage, health expenditure would need to be increased by more than 45%. Conclusions There is a need to facilitate the development of strategies that support African countries to increase domestic financing for national immunisation programmes towards achieving 2030 targets for immunisation coverage.

Original publication




Journal article


BMJ Open

Publication Date