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Comparative Coverage of Supplementary and Universally Recommended Immunizations in Children at 24 Months of Age

Hug, Salome*; Weibel, Daniel PhD*; Delaporte, Elisabeth MD; Gervaix, Alain MD; Heininger, Ulrich MD*,§

The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal: March 2012 - Volume 31 - Issue 3 - p 217–220
doi: 10.1097/INF.0b013e31823cbaa5
Original Studies

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.

Supplemental Digital Content is available in the text.

From the *Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology, University Children's Hospital, Basel, Switzerland; †Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases Section, General Directorate of Health, Geneva, Switzerland; ‡Pediatric Emergency Medicine Service, University Children's Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland; and §School of Medicine, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.

Accepted for publication October 12, 2011.

The study was supported by Wyeth Foundation for the Health of Children and Adolescents, Switzerland. The authors have no other funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Address for correspondence: Ulrich Heininger, MD, University Children's Hospital (UKBB) PO Box, CH-4031 Basel, Switzerland. E-mail:

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© 2012 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.