Vaccine safety practices and its implementation barriers in Northwest Ethiopia: A qualitative study
Introduction: Even if immunization coverage increases over time, it is imperative to ascertain the safety and efficient coverage of immunization services. However, evidence on the safety practices of vaccines is limited. Assessing the implementation status of vaccine safety practices and its implementation barriers is crucial for program monitoring, interventions, and improvements. Therefore, this study aimed to assess vaccine safety practices and its implementation barriers in the public health facilities of Northwest Ethiopia.
Aim: The objective of this study was to assess the safety practices of vaccines and to explore its implementation barriers.
Methods: A qualitative research approach was adopted for this study. Face-to-face in-depth interviews with key-informants and immunization session-observations were the main data collection methods used in this study. Study participants were purposively selected based on their experience and knowledge about the subject matter and framework analysis was performed.
Result: The study's findings revealed that the safety practices of vaccines from the cold chain system, vaccine administration and waste disposal and management perspective was suboptimal. Many barriers influencing vaccine safety practices were also explored. They are 1) vaccine storage and handling, 2). vaccine administration/delivery, 3) waste disposal and management, 4) communication, 5) monitoring and evaluation and 6) and resource.
Conclusion: Efforts to promote the safety of vaccines and vaccination practices is a complex phenomenon and demands multidisciplinary action. Based on our findings, improved vaccine storage and handling, proper administration of vaccines based on guidelines, proper disposal and management of waste, and effective communication, and monitoring can contribute to the safe delivery of vaccination practices. Furthermore, improving the financial freedom of the facilities could increase the availability of essential resources and equipment that can safely store vaccines. [Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 2021; 35(SI-3): 111-117]
Keywords: Immunization safety practice, Qualitative study, Framework analysis, Northwest Ethiopia