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Strengthening immunization communication: Formative research, national strategy and plan of action

BISHKEK, 31 August 2013 - UNICEF Kyrgyzstan conducted formative research to analyze the behavior of parents towards immunization. The objective was to identify the reasons behind the approximately 5% of the country’s target population remaining unimmunized. 

Groups targeted by the research included pregnant women, mothers or caregivers of newborns, mothers resisting immunization, mothers in difficult life situations, members of religious denominations, mass media representatives and health workers. 

It was found that mothers who regularly visited health facilities, received satisfactory and reliable information from health staff, and reached credible information through printed material and TV were more likely to get their children vaccinated. 

The following reasons for vaccination refusal have been noted by respondents: 

  • Lack of complete information on vaccination; Religious beliefs; Incompetence of doctors when providing information
  • Ban by the relatives; Strong conviction that the vaccine is simply a means used by pharmaceutical companies to make profit
  • Belief that vaccination is a medical experiment on children; Firm opinion that an example of a healthy generation of ancestors who did not use vaccines should be followed
  • Negative experience of vaccination
  • Belief that vaccination is not an effective way of protecting children from infectious diseases
  • Change of the place of residence
  • Barriers to obtaining vaccinations
  • Enjoying the right to choose after a long period of compulsory vaccination. 

The results formed the basis for the development of a communication strategy to raise awareness in the population about the importance and necessity of immunization. The National Strategy on Immunization Communication and the associated Plan of Action have been developed in collaboration with the Republican Center of Immunoprophylaxis and the Republican Center of Health Promotion. 

Efforts to mobilize funds for specific activities are ongoing, including integrating the plan with the upcoming GAVI Health System Strengthening (HSS) proposal. 

For further information, please contact:

Galina Solodunova
Communication Officer
UNICEF Kyrgyzstan



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