BOSTON The introduction of the two-dose varicella vaccination
program in 2006 led to reductions of disease in parts of California and
Pennsylvania, according to a study presented here.
Stephanie R. Bialek, MD, MPH, and colleagues from the CDC looked
at data, which was compiled between 2006 and 2010, from two varicella
surveillance areas in Antelope Valley, Calif., and West Philadelphia, PA. They
presented their findings at the IDSA 49th Annual Meeting.
The researchers noted that coverage with both doses among 5-year-olds in
2010 was 96% in California and 63% in Pennsylvania. In both areas, varicella
incidence declined significantly, with 79% to 96% reductions among those aged
5-14. The researchers also highlighted a drop in varicella outbreaks in
California. There were 46 outbreaks in California between 2002 and 2005, and
only about 23 after the two-dose schedule was introduced in 2006. The outbreak
rate held steady in the Philadelphia area, the researchers noted; however, the
rate was smaller, with only 3 outbreaks.
Both states saw increases in the median age of case patients who had no
doses or an unknown number of doses. That range increased from age 12 to 15 in
California and from 15 to 18 in the West Philadelphia cohort.
There was also a shift in median ages of
vaccinated children, from 8 to 9 years in California
and from 5 to 8 years in West Philadelphia.
Bialek and colleagues concluded that their findings make a strong case
to promote catch-up
vaccination among older susceptible individuals.
by Colleen Zacharyczuk
Disclosures: The researchers reported no relevant financial
With the addition in 2006 of a second dose of varicella vaccine to the
standard immunization schedule, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sought to leverage the significant
decrease in varicella disease achieved with a one-dose vaccination strategy and
thereby eliminate those pockets of residual outbreaks occurring throughout the
country at the time. Data reported by the CDC at this year's IDSA meeting
validate that approach, and document a tremendous additional decline in
varicella disease in the few years since the two-dose vaccination program was
implemented. With this two-dose approach, both lives and dollars are being
saved. This is a major achievement that further illustrates the benefits of
David W. Kimberlin, MD
in Children Editorial Board member
Disclosure: Dr. Kimberlin reports no disclosures.
For more information:
- Bialek Sr. #720. Presented at: IDSA 49th Annual
Meeting. Oct. 20-13, 2011. Boston.