Surveillance and outbreak reports Open Access
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In Spain, whole cell pertussis vaccination started in 1975, with three doses before the age of 6-7 months. Doses at 15-18 months and 4-6 years were introduced in 1996 and 2001, respectively. Spain switched to an acellular vaccine in 2005. From 1998 to 2009, pertussis incidence rates remained ≤1.5 cases/100,000 inhabitants but increased from 2010 to 7.5 cases/100,000 in 2012. Data from 1998 to 2012 were analysed to assess disease trends and susceptible populations. We defined four epidemic periods: 1998-2001 (reference), 2002-05, 2006-09 and 2010-12. In 2002-05, the incidence rate increased in individuals aged 15-49 years (IRR: 1.41 (95% CI: 1.11-1.78)) and ≥50 years (IRR: 2.78 (95% CI: 1.78-4.33)) and in 2006-09 increased also in infants aged <3 months (IRR: 1.83 (95% CI: 1.60-2.09)). In 2010-12, the incidence rate increased notably in all age groups, with IRRs ranging between 2.5 (95% CI: 2.3-2.8) in 5-9 year-olds and 36.0 (95% CI: 19.4-66.8) in 20-29 year-olds. These results, consistent with the country's vaccination history, suggest a progressive accumulation of susceptible individuals due to waning immunity after years of low incidence. Further vaccination strategies should be assessed and implemented to prevent pertussis in pre-vaccinated infants, in whom the disease is more severe. .


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