Pertussis is an acute vaccine-preventable respiratory disease that remains a public health problem. In an attempt to improve the control of the disease, many countries have incorporated new boosters in their vaccination schedule. Since the incorporation of these boosters is relatively recent, there are not enough data about their impact to support and/or universalize their use. Alternative strategies such as the improvement in vaccine coverage and reduction in vaccination delays, in addition to the incorporation of boosters, could be implemented. Though these strategies are not new, they have not been adequately evaluated in order to be implemented and/or prioritized. To evaluate the potential impact of these alternative strategies on pertussis incidence, we developed a methodology that involves the use of data collected from vaccination centers and an age-structured deterministic mathematical model for pertussis transmission. The results obtained show that strategies that avoid delays in vaccination have a strong impact on incidence reduction in the most vulnerable population (infants less than 1y). In regions with high vaccination coverage (95%) the elimination of delays in the three primary doses decreases pertussis incidence in infants by approximately 20%. In regions where delays in the administration of vaccines are higher, the combined action to reduce delays and improve coverage leads to a significant improvement in disease control in infants. By repeating the calculations using different sets of parameters that describe different possible epidemiologic scenarios, we determined the robustness of our results. All the results presented highlight the importance of having high vaccine coverage and shorter delays in vaccine administration in order to reduce the impact of the disease in infants.
Authors:Pesco P1, Bergero P1, Fabricius G2, Hozbor D3.