Estimating the excess burden of pertussis disease in Australia within the first year of life, that might have been prevented through timely vaccination

Duleepa Jayasundara, Deborah Randall, Sarah Sheridan, Vicky Sheppeard, Bette Liu, Peter C. Richmond, Christopher C. Blyth, James G. Wood, Hannah C. Moore, Peter B. McIntyre, Heather F. Gidding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background Previous Australian studies have shown that delayed vaccination with each of the three primary doses of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis-containing vaccines (DTP) is up to 50 % in certain subpopulations. We estimated the excess burden of pertussis that might have been prevented if (i) all primary doses and (ii) each dose was given on time. Methods Perinatal, immunization, pertussis notification and death data were probabilistically linked for 1 412 984 infants born in two Australian states in 2000-12. A DTP dose administered >15 days after the recommended age was considered delayed. We used Poisson regression models to compare pertussis notification rates to 1-year of age in infants with >= 1 dose delayed (Aim 1) or any individual dose delayed (Aim 2) versus a propensity weighted counterfactual on-time cohort. Results Of all infants, 42% had >= 1 delayed DTP dose. We estimated that between 39 to 365 days of age, 85 (95% CI: 61-109) cases per 100 000 infants, could have been prevented if all infants with >= 1 delayed dose had received their three doses within the on-time window. Risk of pertussis was higher in the delayed versus the on-time cohort, so crude rates overestimated the excess burden (110 cases per 100 000 infants (95% CI: 95-125)). The estimated dose-specific excess burden per 100 000 infants was 132 for DTP1, 50 for DTP2 and 19 for DTP3. Conclusions We provide robust evidence that improved DTP vaccine timeliness, especially for the first dose, substantially reduces the burden of infant pertussis. Our methodology, using a potential outcomes framework, is applicable to other settings.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Epidemiology
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sep 2022

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