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Barriers and Drivers towards the Use of Childhood Vaccination Services by Undocumented Migrant Caregivers in Sabah, Malaysia: A Qualitative Analysis

Authors: Michal Christina Steven, Mohd. Yusof Hj Ibrahim, Haryati Abdul Karim, Prabakaran Dhanaraj, Kelly Alexius Mansin


After 27 years, Malaysia reported polio cases in 2019 involving the children of the undocumented migrants living in Sabah. These undocumented migrants present a significant challenge in achieving the elimination of vaccine-preventable diseases (VPD). Due to the recent polio outbreak among the undocumented migrant children in Sabah, an in-depth interview was conducted among the caregivers of undocumented migrant children to identify the barriers and drivers towards vaccinating their children. Financial barriers, legal citizenship status, language barrier, the COVID-19 pandemic, and physical barriers have been the barriers to access vaccination services by undocumented migrants. Five significant drivers for undocumented migrants to vaccinate their children are social influence, fear of disease, parental trust in healthcare providers, good support, and vaccine availability. Necessary action should be taken immediately to address the problems of vaccinating the children of undocumented migrants to prevent the re-emergence of VPD.

Keywords: Malaysia, polio, Sabah, undocumented migrants.

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