University Of Tasmania

File(s) not publicly available

Characteristics of infants receiving prompt first diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis immunisation in an infant cohort

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 10:40 authored by Ponsonby, AL, Couper, DJ, Terry DwyerTerry Dwyer, Baird, J
The Centers for Disease Control in the United States have stated that studies to determine factors associated with failure to receive the first recommended dose of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis are required. We examined an infant cohort to identify family and infant characteristics predictive of prompt first immunisation, to document changes in prompt first immunisation rates over time and to identify reasons for immunisation delay. The study sample consisted of one-fifth of live births in Tasmania at risk of sudden infant death syndrome. From 1 January 1988 to 31 December 1994, families of 8011 infants (83 per cent of eligible infants) participated in a telephone interview when the infants were a median postnatal age of 11 weeks and 3 days. Prompt immunisation was defined as the report by parents of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccination before a postnatal age of 10 weeks. The proportion of cohort infants promptly immunised increased (P < 0.0001) over time from 1988 to 1994. Prompt immunisation was associated with various characteristics of the infant and family. The proportion of infants prompdy immunised decreased as birth order increased and as the interpregnancy interval between the index child and his or her immediately elder sibling decreased. After exclusion of infants not promptly immunised because of illness, birth order and interbirth interval remained significant predictors of prompt immunisation, suggesting that these factors are acting to increase immunisation delay through pathways unrelated to their potential effect on infant illness rates.


Publication title

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health










Menzies Institute for Medical Research


Public Health Association of Australia

Place of publication


Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Neonatal and child health

Usage metrics

    University Of Tasmania