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Abstract

A universal immunisation programme against varicella in the form of the measles-mumps-rubella-varicella (MMRV) vaccine for toddlers aged 13–15 months was introduced in Tuscany in July 2008. An assessment of the impact of this programme on varicella-related hospitalisations 4 years after its introduction could further support its adoption at a national level. The hospitalisation data were analysed in two periods: pre-vaccination (2004–2007) and vaccination period (2009–2012). The high coverage of the vaccines (84% in 2012) resulted in a significant decline in notifications, from 33,114 (2004–2007) to 13,184 cases (2009–2012), and also of hospitalisations, from 584 (pre-vaccination period) to 325 (vaccination period). The hospitalisation rate was 4.1 per 100,000 (95% confidence intervals (CI): 3.4–4.7) before the introduction of vaccination, which dropped to 2.2 per 100,000 (95% CI: 1.7–2.7) in the vaccination period (hospitalisation risk ratios: 0.54; 95% CI:  0.472–0.619). The reduction was most significant in the youngest age groups. The introduction of universal vaccination has already led to a significant decline in hospitalisations due to varicella after just 4 years of implementation. Hospitalisation rates fell noticeably among younger individuals involved in the vaccination programme. The decrease in hospitalisation rate in the older age groups suggests a possible indirect protection.

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/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2016.21.24.30257
2016-06-16
2017-11-23
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2016.21.24.30257
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