Background: The introduction of pneumococcal and meningococcal group C conjugate vaccinations as supplementary (a new category in Swiss immunization recommendations) to universally recommended vaccinations in 2006 prompted this study to investigate their acceptance.
Methods: The study was performed in 24-month-old healthy children born in the Geneva or Basel areas in Switzerland between January and April 2007. After informed consent had been obtained from caregivers (for this particular study in Basel and in general for providing immunization data in Geneva on an ongoing basis), all universally recommended and supplementary vaccinations administered by ≤24 months of age were analyzed for completeness and timeliness according to set definitions. Sample size calculations and standard statistical tests were applied for comparative data analyses.
Results: Of 592 children at the age of 12 months, 94% and 73% had received complete diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis component combination and pneumococcal conjugate vaccinations, respectively. At the age of 24 months, coverage rates for complete booster doses were 77% and 70%, respectively. Rates for MMR doses 1 and 2 at 24 months were 92% and 72%, respectively, and the rate for meningococcal conjugate vaccine (single dose) was 62%. On an average, coverage rates were similar in the 2 study regions except those for pneumococcal conjugate and second dose of MMR, which were approximately 10% higher in Geneva.
Conclusions: Compliance with supplementary vaccinations was lower than that with universally recommended vaccinations. This can be explained by the recent introduction of supplementary vaccinations or by the public perception that they are less important than universal vaccinations.