Background: As mobile phone access continues to expand globally, opportunities exist to leverage these technologies to support demand for immunisation services and improve vaccine coverage. The authors aimed to assess whether short message service (SMS) reminders and monetary incentives can improve immunisation uptake in Kenya.
Methods: In this cluster-randomised controlled trial, villages were randomly and evenly allocated to four groups: control, SMS only, SMS plus a 75 Kenya Shilling (KES) incentive, and SMS plus 200 KES (85 KES = USD$1). Caregivers were eligible if they had a child younger than 5 weeks who had not yet received a first dose of pentavalent vaccine. Participants in the intervention groups received SMS reminders before scheduled pentavalent and measles immunisation visits. Participants in incentive groups, additionally, received money if their child was timely immunised (immunisation within 2 weeks of the due date). Caregivers and interviewers were not masked. The proportion of fully immunised children (receiving BCG, three doses of polio vaccine, three doses of pentavalent vaccine, and measles vaccine) by 12 months of age constituted the primary outcome and was analysed with log-binomial regression and General Estimating Equations to account for correlation within clusters.