Nearly 40 countries have been over-reporting the number of children receiving a basic vaccination in order to gain cash rewards by showing an artificial increase in their immunization rates, a new study suggests.*
The GAVI immunization services support program, which pays $20 (U.S.) for every child immunization above an established baseline, has dished out $290-million – nearly double what it should have paid – to eligible countries because vaccination numbers were exaggerated, according to the study from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.
According to the data analyzed, of the 51 countries eligible for GAVI's immunization support, 39 over-reported the number of children actually vaccinated.
In one extreme example, Niger was found to have officially reported a 100-per-cent child vaccination rate when surveys found the immunization level to be 40 per cent.