Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals

Immunization coverage

Survey methods

The primary objective of an immunization coverage survey is to provide a coverage estimate for selected vaccines or a set of vaccines (fully vaccinated for age) among infants, children and/or women of childbearing age, etcc. Other information, which is usually not available through routine monitoring systems, can also be obtained.


Furthermore, surveys facilitate assessing equity in immunization, by allowing disaggregating coverage by factors such as place of residence, sex, maternal education, economic status or subnational region.

The WHO vaccination coverage survey

Since the early 1990's, the World Health Organization (WHO) has provided guidance to Member States, partners agencies and institutions on methods for measuring immunization coverage through surveys and has provided manuals and tools to conduct the EPI cluster survey. The most recent manual is the 2015 working draft of WHO Vaccination Coverage Cluster Survey.

WHO is preparing tools to facilitate the management, analysis, presentation and interpretation of survey. One of these tools, “Vaccination Coverage Quality Indicators (VCQI)” is set of Stata programs intended to be used by statisticians and epidemiologist to analyse survey data; and for programmers to add further modifications and additional analysis indicators. Additional information is available in the VCQI User’s Guide. A beta version of VCQI, as well as the User's Guide, can be obtained by emailing

Other survey types used to monitor vaccination coverage include:

  • international household survey initiatives, such as UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) and the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS)Program
  • the Lot Quality Assurance (LQA) technique, mostly used to assess polio supplementary immunization activities (vaccination campaigns).


New WHO Vaccination Coverage Cluster Survey Manual
2005 Immunization coverage cluster survey : reference manual
Other useful resources

Last Update: 20 March 2018