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Vital Health Stat 2. 2005 Mar;(138):1-55.

Statistical methodology of the National Immunization Survey, 1994-2002.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville, Maryland 20782, USA.



Since 1994 the National Immunization Survey (NIS) has monitored progress toward the Healthy People 2000 and 2010 vaccination goals. The NIS collects data in two phases: first, a random-digit-dialing (RDD) telephone survey to identify households with children 19-35 months old and, second, a mail survey to vaccination providers to obtain vaccination histories used to estimate vaccination coverage rates. This report reviews the methodologies used in the 1994-2002 NIS to obtain official estimates of vaccination coverage and describes the methodology used for the first three topical modules of the NIS.


From 1994 to 1997 the NIS used a variation of a two-phase estimator to compensate for missing provider-reported vaccination histories. Between 1998 and 2001 a weighting-class estimator was used. In 2002 and thereafter the weighting-class approach was refined to account for households that do not have telephones and for unvaccinated children. To collect data on immunization-related topics, the NIS sample was randomized among three topical modules: health insurance and ability to pay for vaccinations (HIM); parental knowledge and experiences about vaccinations (PKM); and daycare attendance, breastfeeding practices, and participation in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (DCM).


In 2001 among children with completed RDD interviews, 0.3 percent were entirely unvaccinated. Together, the new nontelephone adjustment and the refinement for unvaccinated children yielded revised estimates that were within 1.5 percentage points of the original estimates obtained using the 1998-2001 methodology. Over the six quarters during which the first three topical modules were fielded (from mid-2001 through 2002), 21,163 children were randomized to the HIM, 3576 to the PKM, and 3511 to the DCM.

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