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Meningococcal disease epidemiology in Australia 10 years after implementation of a national conjugate meningococcal C immunization programme

  • G. L. LAWRENCE (a1) (a2), H. WANG (a2), M. LAHRA (a3), R. BOOY (a2) (a4) and P. B. McINTYRE (a2)...
Summary

Australia implemented conjugate meningococcal C immunization in 2003 with a single scheduled dose at age 12 months and catch-up for individuals aged 2–19 years. Several countries have recently added one or more booster doses to their programmes to maintain disease control. Australian disease surveillance and vaccine coverage data were used to assess longer term vaccine coverage and impact on invasive serogroup C disease incidence and mortality, and review vaccine failures. Coverage was 93% in 1-year-olds and 70% for catch-up cohorts. In 10 years, after adjusting for changes in diagnostic practices, population invasive serogroup C incidence declined 96% (95% confidence interval 94–98) to 0·4 and 0·6 cases/million in vaccinated and unvaccinated cohorts, respectively. Only three serogroup C deaths occurred in 2010–2012 vs. 68 in 2000–2002. Four (<1/million doses) confirmed vaccine failures were identified in 10 years with no increasing trend. Despite published evidence of waning antibody over time, an ongoing single dose of meningococcal C conjugate vaccine in the second year of life following widespread catch-up has resulted in near elimination of serogroup C disease in all age groups without evidence of vaccine failures in the first decade since introduction. Concurrently, serogroup B incidence declined independently by 55%.

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Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence: Associate Professor G. L. Lawrence, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia. (Email: g.lawrence@unsw.edu.au)
References
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Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
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