Routine Childhood Immunization During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Africa: A Benefit–risk Analysis of Health Benefits Versus Excess Risk of SARS-CoV-2 Infection


Assessing the benefits and risks of continued routine childhood immunization during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Africa region.


Stakeholders and decision makers can use the estimated benefit–risk ratios contained in this study to determine whether sustaining routine childhood immunization during the COVID-19 pandemic is appropriate and what service delivery adaptations should be considered.


The aim of this study is to compare the health benefits of sustaining routine childhood immunization in Africa with the risk of acquiring SARS-CoV-2 infection through visiting routine vaccination service delivery points.

Key Points:

  • The deaths prevented by sustaining routine childhood immunization in Africa outweigh the excess risk of COVID-19 deaths associated with vaccination clinic visits, especially for the vaccinated children.
  • Routine childhood immunization should be sustained in Africa as much as possible, while considering other factors such as logistical constraints, staff shortages, and reallocation of resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The current immunization service models will require adaptation, including physical distancing measures, personal protective equipment, and good hygiene practices for infection control at the vaccination clinics.

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