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Immunisation has been an important strategy for disease prevention globally. Despite proven successes in other settings, child immunisation has continued to be problematic in developing countries including Nigeria. In addressing the problems, policy in Nigeria is largely directed at overcoming socio cultural issues surrounding parents’ rejection of vaccines. However, determinants of immunisation have geographical implications as well. A cross sectional survey was used to select 484 mothers/ caregivers through a multi stage cluster sampling technique from the three senatorial districts of Borno State, Nigeria. Mothers or caregivers of children 12–23 months were interviewed using a structured questionnaire adapted from the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (2008). Socio cultural factors measured include mother’s education, religion, husband’s permission and sex of child while spatial variables include location i.e. whether rural or urban, and distance measured in terms of physical distance, cost and perception of physical distance. Descriptive statistics, univariate and multivariate logistic regressions were used to analyse the results. Data indicate that only 10.5% of children were fully immunised. Though immunisation uptake differed between the senatorial districts, this was not significant (P=0.1). In the bivariate analysis, mothers living in urban areas, <1 km to immunisation centre, their perception of travel distance and travel cost were the spatial predictors of immunisation while literacy and husband’s permission were the socio-cultural factors of significance. However, in the multivariate regression only two geographical factors i.e. living in an urban area [odds ratio (OR) 3.42, confidence interval (CI) 1.40–8.33] and mothers’ perception of distance (OR 4.52, CI 2.14–9.55) were protective against under immunisation while mother’s education was the only socio cultural variable of significance (OR 0.10, CI 0.03–0.41). It was concluded that while it is important to address socio cultural issues, policies directed at overcoming the friction of distance especially mobile clinics in rural areas are required to significantly improve immunisation uptake in the state.
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