Falkenstein Hagander K, Aronsson B, Danielsson M, Lepp T, Kulane A, Schollin Ask L
Acta Paediatr - (-) - [2021-05-10; online 2021-05-10]
Routine immunisation programmes are at risk of disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aimed to investigate the resilience of the Swedish national immunisation programme for children up to the age of five years during the early stages of the pandemic. This was a cross-sectional, web-based survey of regional child health offices in Sweden between 10 September and 9 October 2020. It explored the organisation of child health services during the early stages of the pandemic, focusing on routine child immunisation. All 21 Swedish regional child health offices responded. They stated that child immunisation had been prioritised, communication with families had been intensified and there was greater flexibility at all organisational levels of child health services. In addition, the vaccine supply was sustained and child health centres remained open. However, there were periodic staff shortages, increased numbers of health visits cancelled by parents and most parent-education groups were paused. The Swedish immunisation programme was resilient during the early COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to sustainable organisation co-ordinated by Sweden's network of regional child health offices.