The aim of this study was to gather information on demographic and health indicators, primarily vaccination status, of Syrians under temporary protection in five provinces of Turkey and to develop infrastructure for vaccination planning.
The population under study consists of 89,986 Syrian children, 0-4 years of age, residing in Ankara, Mersin, Gaziantep, Izmir, and Bursa. Initially, we planned to evaluate 2,339 children, although a total of 2,827 children were evaluated by the end of the study.
Of these children, 74% were born in Turkey, while 20% were born in Syria. In addition, 22.4% (n = 634) of the children were never vaccinated, and of these, 67.0% (n = 425) were born in Turkey. In other words, one in five Syrian children born in Turkey (20.3%) had never been vaccinated. Of the Syrian children under temporary protection, the missing vaccinations were as follows: hepatitis B (54.7%); Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (62.5%); five-component combined vaccine (64.6%); conjugated pneumococcal vaccine (58.0%); oral polio vaccine (70.8%); measles, mumps, and rubella (76.6%); varicella (66.8%); and hepatitis A vaccine (76.0%).
It is important to increase the immunization rates of Syrian children under temporary protection and establish regular vaccination procedures.