Impact of a Routine Two-Dose Varicella Vaccination Program on Varicella Epidemiology

Division of Viral Diseases, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
PEDIATRICS (Impact Factor: 5.47). 10/2013; 132(5). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2013-0863
Source: PubMed


One-dose varicella vaccination for children was introduced in the United States in 1995. In 2006, a second dose was recommended to further decrease varicella disease and outbreaks. We describe the impact of the 2-dose vaccination program on varicella incidence, severity, and outbreaks in 2 varicella active surveillance areas.

We examined varicella incidence rates and disease characteristics in Antelope Valley (AV), CA, and West Philadelphia, PA, and varicella outbreak characteristics in AV during 1995-2010.

In 2010, varicella incidence was 0.3 cases per 1000 population in AV and 0.1 cases per 1000 population in West Philadelphia: 76% and 67% declines, respectively, since 2006 and 98% declines in both sites since 1995; incidence declined in all age groups during 2006-2010. From 2006-2010, 61.7% of case patients in both surveillance areas had been vaccinated with 1 dose of varicella vaccine and 7.5% with 2 doses. Most vaccinated case patients had <50 lesions with no statistically significant differences among 1- and 2-dose cases (62.8% and 70.3%, respectively). Varicella-related hospitalizations during 2006-2010 declined >40% compared with 2002-2005 and >85% compared with 1995-1998. Twelve varicella outbreaks occurred in AV during 2007-2010, compared with 47 during 2003-2006 and 236 during 1995-1998 (P < .01).

Varicella incidence, hospitalizations, and outbreaks in 2 active surveillance areas declined substantially during the first 5 years of the 2-dose varicella vaccination program. Declines in incidence across all ages, including infants who are not eligible for varicella vaccination, and adults, in whom vaccination levels are low, provide evidence of the benefit of high levels of immunity in the population.

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    • "Varicella is preventable by vaccines that are generally considered safe and effective [3] [5]. The USA introduced varicella vaccination in the national immunisation programme in 1995, Australia in 2000 and both countries have subsequently experienced a substantial decrease in disease burden [6] [7] [8]. Few countries in Europe have followed despite a consensus statement from European vaccine experts on the need for vaccination [5] [9]. "
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    ABSTRACT: There is no consensus as regards the European varicella immunisation policy; some countries have introduced varicella vaccination in their routine childhood immunisation programs whereas others have decided against or are debating. With the aim of providing an overview of the epidemiology of varicella in Europe and addressing the different strategies and the experiences so far, we performed a review of epidemiological studies done in Europe from 2004 to 2014. Varicella is mainly a disease of childhood, but sero-epidemiological studies show regional differences in the proportion of susceptible adults. Hospitalisation due to varicella is not common, but complications and hospitalisation mainly affect previously healthy children, which underlines the importance of not dismissing varicella as a disease of little importance. The experience with universal vaccination in Europe shows that vaccination leads to a rapid reduction of disease incidence. Vaccine effectiveness is high and a protective herd effect is obtained. Experience with vaccination in Europe has not been long enough, though, to draw conclusions on benefits and drawbacks with vaccination as well as the capacity for national programs in Europe to maintain a sufficiently high coverage to prevent a change in age group distribution to older children and young adults or on the impact that varicella immunisation may have on the epidemiology of shingles. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Vaccine 03/2015; 33(21). DOI:10.1016/j.vaccine.2015.03.055 · 3.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In 2007, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended a routine second dose of varicella vaccine for children at age 4-6 years, in addition to the first dose given at age 12-15 months. One strategy recommended for increasing varicella vaccination coverage is a school entry requirement of proof of varicella immunity. To determine the extent of implementation of the routine 2-dose varicella vaccination program, the number of states with a 2-dose varicella vaccination elementary school entry requirement in 2012 was compared with the number in 2007, and 2-dose varicella vaccination coverage during 2006 was compared with coverage in 2012 among children aged 7 years, using data from six Immunization Information System (IIS) sentinel sites. The number of states (including the District of Columbia) with a 2-dose varicella vaccination elementary school entry requirement increased from four in 2007 to 36 in 2012. Two-dose varicella vaccination coverage levels among children aged 7 years in the six IIS sentinel sites increased from a range of 3.6%-8.9% in 2006 to a range of 79.9%-92.0% in 2012 and were approaching the levels of 2-dose measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) coverage, which had a range of 81.9%-94.0% in 2012. These increases suggest substantial progress in implementing the routine 2-dose varicella vaccination program in the first 6 years since its recommendation by ACIP. Wider adoption of 2-dose varicella vaccination school entry requirements might help progress toward the Healthy People 2020 target of 95% of kindergarten students having received 2 doses of varicella vaccine.
    MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report 02/2014; 63(8):174-7.
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    ABSTRACT: Background:With continuing occurrence of varicella despite of increasing vaccine coverage for the past 20 years, a case-based study, a case-control study, and an immunogenicity and safety study were conducted to address the impact of varicella vaccination in Korea.Subjects and methods:Varicella patients under the age of 16 years were enrolled for the case-based study. For the case-control study, varicella patients between 12 months and 15 years of age were enrolled with one control matched for each patient. For the immunogenicity and safety study, otherwise healthy children aged from 12 to 24 months were immunized with Suduvax (Green Cross, Korea). FAMA VZV antibody was measured before and 6weeks after immunization.Results:In the case-based study, the median age of the patients was 4 years. Among 152 cases aged 1-15 years, 139 children received varicella vaccine and all had breakthrough infections. Clinical courses were not ameliorated in vaccinated patients, but more vaccinated patients received outpatient rather than inpatient care. In the case-control study, the adjusted overall effectiveness of varicella vaccination was 54%. In the immunogenicity and safety study, the seroconversion rate and geometric mean titer for FAMA antibody were 76.67% and 5.31.Conclusions:Even with increasing varicella vaccine uptake, we illustrate no upward age-shift in the peak incidence, a high proportion of breakthrough disease, almost no amelioration in disease presentation by vaccination, and insufficient Immunogenicity of domestic varicella vaccine. There are needs to improve the varicella vaccine used in Korea.
    Clinical and vaccine Immunology: CVI 03/2014; 21(5). DOI:10.1128/CVI.00645-13 · 2.47 Impact Factor
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