Childhood National Immunization Coverage Survey (CNICS)
Detailed information for 2019
Every 2 years
The purpose of the Childhood National Immunization Coverage Survey (CNICS) is to collect information on national immunization coverage for vaccines administered to children and pregnant women.
Data release - November 10, 2020 (Results for vaccines administered during pregnancy), Scheduled for spring 2021 (Results for childhood vaccination)
The purpose of the Childhood National Immunization Coverage Survey (CNICS) is to collect information on national immunization coverage for vaccines administered to children and pregnant women. The survey is intended to:
- Determine if children are vaccinated in accordance with recommended immunization schedules for publicly-funded vaccines
- Determine if pregnant women are being vaccinated against pertussis (whooping cough) and the flu, vaccines recommended during pregnancy
- Provide the World Health Organization and the Pan-American Health Organization with estimates of national vaccine coverage for childhood vaccines such as measles, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus and polio
- Provide information on parental and guardian knowledge and beliefs about vaccines.
Results for the 2019 cycle of CNICS will be released in two stages, with those for vaccines received during pregnancy being published in November 2020 (this component is also referred to as the Survey of Vaccination during Pregnancy) and results for childhood vaccines being released in the spring of 2021.
Reference period: Varies
Collection period: From fall to spring
- Children and youth
Data sources and methodology
The target population for the 2019 cycle of this survey is children aged 2, 7, 14 and 17 years old on March 1, 2019, and women who have given birth between September 2, 2018 and March 1, 2019, living in the 10 provinces and three territories, not residing on First Nations reserves and not institutionalized.
The survey content of the 2011 CNICS was developed in collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). The survey content was tested by the Questionnaire Design Research Centre (QDRC) of Statistics Canada in one-on-one interviews in participants' homes prior to collection. There were no significant content changes in 2013 and 2015. New survey content was developed in 2017 and tested by the QDRC in one-on-one interviews in testing facilities in Vancouver, Montreal and Ottawa. New survey content was also developed in 2019 and tested by the QDRC in one-on-one interviews in testing facilities in Montreal and Ottawa.
For respondents with children aged 2, 7, 14 and 17 years old, data collection included multiple phases. The first phase of collection was conducted through a self-response electronic questionnaire (EQ) or a computer assisted telephone interview (CATI) during which the person most knowledgeable about the child's immunizations (PMK), provided information about vaccines the child had received and answered questions regarding their knowledge and beliefs about immunization. In the second phase of collection, respondents were asked to complete and return by mail a form which provides consent for Statistics Canada to contact their child's immunization providers to obtain their child's vaccine history. The receipt of the consent form, triggered the third phase, the Immunization Record Request form, a mail out/mail back questionnaire sent to the child's health care provider(s) who filled out and returned the form with the child's detailed immunization history. The data from the health care providers were used to enhance the PMK reported data.
For the first time, in 2019, the CNICS included a component on prenatal vaccination, also known as the Survey of Vaccination during Pregnancy. For this component of the survey, biological mothers were asked questions about vaccines they were offered and received during their recent pregnancy, in addition to questions about their knowledge and beliefs regarding immunization. Data on vaccines received during pregnancy were collected via a self-response electronic questionnaire (EQ) or a computer assisted telephone interview (CATI), and Statistics Canada did not contact immunization providers for these respondents.
The 2019 CNICS asked respondents for permission to access their child's vaccination record or, for pregnant women, their own vaccination record held by regional, provincial and territorial immunization registries. Where available, and where permission has been given, the linked data will be used to evaluate the potential to integrate immunization registry data in future cycles of the survey. In order to access this information, Statistics Canada must have data sharing agreements and data acquisition agreements in place with each individual jurisdiction.
So far, Statistics Canada has completed an assessment of the registry coverage for Prince Edward Island and Manitoba (after having put in place data sharing and data acquisition agreements) for childhood vaccination. As a result, parents and guardians living in these two provinces were given the opportunity to skip the detailed questions about vaccination, providing they agreed to share their child's identifiers with the respective provincial immunization registry. When consent was provided, registry immunization data was used in the place of parent or immunization provider data. Women in these provinces who had recently given birth were also asked whether they consented to Statistics Canada linking to provincial registry immunization data in order to assess registry coverage for this population. For the CNICS 2019, these respondents were asked to respond to the detailed vaccine questions.
This is a sample survey with a cross-sectional design.
The main objectives of the 2019 CNICS are to 1) produce national, provincial and territorial estimates of immunization coverage for women who have given birth between September 2, 2018 and March 1, 2019 and 2) national estimates of immunization coverage for children and youth aged 2, 7, 14 and 17 years old. The target population is stratified by age and by province and territory to ensure that the sample is representative while remaining efficient. It was determined that a sample of 9,096 units for pregnant women, and 4,830 units for the children portion would yield the desired accuracy.
Data collection for this reference period: 2019-12-02 to 2020-08-31
Responding to this survey is voluntary.
Data are collected directly from the Person Most Knowledgeable (PMK) for children aged 2, 7, 14 and 17 years old, and from the biological mother for children under 6 months of age.
Data are collected using a self-response electronic questionnaire (EQ) and a computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI).
With consent, data are also collected from the selected child's immunization provider (e.g. physician, nurse, or clinic). The data collected from the immunization provider is combined with the immunization data collected from the parent or guardian.
Immunization data is also obtained from the regional, provincial and territorial immunization registries when the CNICS respondent has given consent to link to and access the child's vaccination record. This step only happens for jurisdictions with whom Statistics Canada has concluded data sharing and data acquisition agreements.
View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .
The purpose of processing survey data is to convert the collected data into a form that is appropriate for analysis and tabulation.
For the CNICS, collection was performed using a self-response electronic questionnaire (EQ) or Computer Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI), which allows for certain edits to be built into the application. For example, Validity Edits, which ensure that the response falls within the allowed range. It also ensured that only character values were entered into character fields or numeric values were entered into numeric fields.
After collection the raw data file was put through a series of standard processing steps designed to clean the data and help ensure its consistency thereby increasing its usefulness. These verifications were carried out at both at the micro and macro level.
The flow edits replicated the flow patterns used in the application and set the non-applicable questions to a value of 'Valid Skip'. Non-responses were set to a value of 'Not Stated'. These are questions that were applicable to the respondent but were not answered. In the past, when a CATI application was used, these values usually were recorded as a response of 'Refusal' or 'Don't Know'.
In addition, various types of editing were done to detect missing or inconsistent information. For example, edits were performed to check the logical relationship between responses.
New variables were derived using collected data. A derived variable may be created based on a single variable (by re-grouping or collapsing categories) or based on several variables (by combining them together to define a new concept).
Income information was not collected for this survey cycle. In order to reduce respondent burden, total household income was retrieved from linkage to tax data files. When data linkage was not possible, income imputation was done using the trend imputation method or nearest-neighbour imputation method. The nearest-neighbour method finds and uses the income data from a donor respondent who shares similar characteristics to the recipient respondent.
In addition, some imputation for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis immunization was done to account for the fact that these vaccines are only available in combination (Tdap or Tdap-IPV) in Canada.
The Childhood National Immunization Coverage Survey (CNICS) is a probability survey. As is the case with any probability survey, the sample was selected so as to be able to produce estimates for a reference population. Therefore, each unit in the sample represents a certain number of units in the population.
Weighting was conducted separately for the pregnant women and children components of the sample.
Survey weights were calculated by taking the design weights and making adjustments for survey non-response. The design weight is the inverse of the probability of selection, that is, the probability that a mother or a child in the population is selected into the CNICS sample.
Weights were adjusted in order that the respondents also represent the non-respondents. This ensures population totals are not underestimated. The method of response homogeneous groups (RHG) was applied to reassign the weight of the non-respondents to the respondents. The RHG method involves grouping together individuals with the same likelihood of response and then computing an adjustment factor for each RHG.
Given that exact counts of birth mothers do not exist, no post-stratification was made for the pregnant women sample.
For the 2019 cycle, in contrast to past cycles of the survey, only one set of weights are calculated for each of the samples (children and mothers) included for CNICS. These weights are used to estimate vaccine coverage rates as well as knowledge and beliefs about vaccines for the population. The weights were calculated using the aforementioned methodology.
To estimate variances directly, a set of 1,000 bootstrap weights is also created and made available in a separate file.
While rigorous quality assurance mechanisms are applied across all steps of the statistical process, validation and scrutiny of the data by statisticians are the ultimate quality checks prior to dissemination. Many validation measures were implemented. They include:
a) Analysis of changes over time
b) Verification of estimates through cross-tabulations
c) Consultation with stakeholders internal to Statistics Canada
d) Consultation with the Public Health Agency of Canada
e) Review of production processes
f) Coherence analysis based on quality indicators
Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.
In order to keep the data confidential, some modifications are performed on the collected data.
Revisions and seasonal adjustment
This methodology does not apply to this survey program.
As the data are based on a sample of persons, they are subject to sampling error. That is, estimates based on a sample will vary from sample to sample, and typically they will be different from the results that would have been obtained from surveying the entire population.
The quality of estimates produced with CNICS data is measured with the confidence intervals (CI), produced using bootstrap weights. The CI range will depend on the domain of interest and the prevalence of the characteristic.
The response rate for the pregnant women component of the 2019 CNICS is shown below. The response rate reported here is the number of biological mothers who responded to questions in either the immunization or the knowledge and beliefs section of the survey, as a percentage of the number of newborns included in the initial sample, adjusted to account for out-of-scope units. In other words, the response rate is calculated as:
Response rate = (number of respondents / effective sample size) * 100%
The overall unweighted response rate for the pregnant women component of the survey was 58.9% at the national level.
At this time, the response rate for the children portion of CNICS has not been calculated.
Much time and effort was devoted to reducing non-sampling errors in the survey by using a well-tested questionnaire, a proven survey methodology, specialized interviewers and quality control measures.