Browsing 1 Published Research and Commentary by Subjects
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Measles vaccine effectiveness in standard and early immunization strategies, Niger, 1995.BACKGROUND: An Expanded Programme on Immunization was started in late 1987 in Niger, including vaccination against measles with one dose of standard titer Schwarz vaccine given to infants after 9 months of age. During epidemics an early two-dose strategy was implemented (one dose between 6 and 8 months and one dose after 9 months). From January 1, 1995, until May 7, 1995, 13 892 measles cases were reported in Niamey, Niger. METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was conducted in a crowded area of Niamey at the end of the outbreak to assess the effectiveness of measles vaccine in standard (after 9 months) and early (before 9 months) immunization strategies under field conditions. RESULTS: Highest measles incidence rates were observed among children <1 year of age. Vaccine effectiveness estimates increased with age at vaccination from 78% with a single dose administered at 6 months of age to 95% at 9 months. Vaccine effectiveness with the early two dose strategy was 93%. CONCLUSIONS: Immunization with a single dose of standard titer Schwarz vaccine before 9 months of age provided higher clinical protection than expected from seropositivity studies. The early two dose strategy is justified in contexts where measles incidence is high before 9 months of age. Our results raise the issue of lowering the recommended age for measles vaccination in developing countries.
Modelling the first dose of measles vaccination: the role of maternal immunity, demographic factors, and delivery systems.Measles vaccine efficacy is higher at 12 months than 9 months because of maternal immunity, but delaying vaccination exposes the children most vulnerable to measles mortality to infection. We explored how this trade-off changes as a function of regionally varying epidemiological drivers, e.g. demography, transmission seasonality, and vaccination coverage. High birth rates and low coverage both favour early vaccination, and initiating vaccination at 9-11 months, then switching to 12-14 months can reduce case numbers. Overall however, increasing the age-window of vaccination decreases case numbers relative to vaccinating within a narrow age-window (e.g. 9-11 months). The width of the age-window that minimizes mortality varies as a function of birth rate, vaccination coverage and patterns of access to care. Our results suggest that locally age-targeted strategies, at both national and sub-national scales, tuned to local variation in birth rate, seasonality, and access to care may substantially decrease case numbers and fatalities for routine vaccination.