Uptake of pneumococcal vaccines in the Nordic region of Nunavik, province of Quebec, Canada

Jude-Emmanuel Cléophat, Jean-Baptiste Le Meur, Jean-François Proulx, Philippe De Wals


OBJECTIVES: Pneumococcal infections constitute an important public health problem in Nordic regions of Canada. Nordic populations are not included in national and provincial immunization surveys and there is no centralized immunization registry in these regions. The objective of this study was to estimate pneumococcal vaccination coverage and delays in immunization of children in Nunavik, Quebec.

METHODS: Immunization records of children born in 1994-2005 were collected in all villages. Children were classified into three groups: born in the period January 1, 1994 to April 30, 1997 and targeted by the 2002 mass campaign with the 23-valent polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23); born in the period May 1, 1997 to March 31, 2002 and targeted by the 7-valent conjugate vaccine (PCV7) catch-up campaign; born in the period April 1, 2002 to December 31, 2005 and targeted by the PCV7 routine infant program.

RESULTS: In the first group (n=896), 86.8% (95% CI: 84.4%-89.0%) were vaccinated with PPSV23. In the second group (n=1,252), 84.3% (95% CI: 82.1%-86.2%) received ≥1 PCV7 dose. In the third group, 90.4% (95% CI: 88.5%-92.1%) received 4 PCV7 doses. Delays >4 weeks in vaccine administration were observed for 26.3% of doses. There were substantial variations between villages for all indicators.

CONCLUSIONS: In the challenging setting of a Nordic and remote region, uptake rates of pneumococcal vaccines in Nunavik were found to be similar to those measured in population surveys in Quebec.


Streptococcus pneumoniae; pneumococcal vaccines; immunization; infectious diseases; Aboriginal health

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17269/cjph.105.4315