Irma Čaplinskienė


The article aims at evaluating the implementation of the National Immunization Programme 2009-2013 by assessing the effectiveness in reaching the intermediate targets. The article looks at the trends in the vaccination coverage by diseases that are vaccinated against in accordance with Lithuanian Childhood Vaccination Schedule. Vaccinations given according to the schedule are covered by the National Health Insurance Fund in pursuance of the National Immunization Programme. The effectiveness was assessed by comparing the target indicators to the actual ones. It was found that in 2012 vaccination coverage for all infections was more than 90%, consequently, the target of the National Immunization Programme – “to maintain the coverage among children across the country at levels no less than 90%” – was successfully achieved by the effectiveness criteria. However, it was also noted that in recent years a visible downward trend in overall vaccination coverage has been observed, and the target to increase the scale of immunization against communicable diseases in pursuance of Lithuanian Immunization Schedule up to 97-98% by the year 2010, which was set in the Lithuanian Health Programme, basically has remained unfulfilled. This might have been influenced by anti-vaccine movements that have been gaining momentum in the country and not evidence-based information being disseminated through the mass media.