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Eur J Pediatr. 2006 Feb;165(2):124-9. Epub 2005 Dec 3.

Immunization rates and timely administration in pre-school and school-aged children.

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University Children's Hospital UKBB, P.O. Box, 4005 Basel, Switzerland.


Whereas immunization coverage has been repeatedly assessed in the Swiss population, little is known about the timely administration of universally recommended immunizations in Switzerland and elsewhere. The goal of this study was to determine compliance with official standard immunization recommendations in pre-school and school-aged children in Basel, Switzerland, focusing on coverage rates and timely administration. Of a cohort of children entering kindergarten and third-grade primary school in Basel in 2001, 310 and 310, respectively, were identified in proportion to the overall age-appropriate populations in the four city districts. Foreign-born children were excluded. The data were extracted from immunization records provided voluntarily by parents. Coverage for three doses of diphtheria, tetanus, and poliomyelitis vaccines was >95% and <90% for pertussis and Hib. The rates of age-appropriate booster doses were significantly lower, especially for pertussis and Hib (<60%). Cumulative coverage for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) was <90% for the first dose and 33% for the second dose by 10 years of age. All immunizations were administered with significant delays. Coverage for the first three doses of DTP combination vaccines did not reach 90% before 1 year of age and, for the first dose of MMR, a plateau just below 80% was not reached before 3 years of age. Delayed administration of immunizations in childhood, as well as complete lack of booster doses in a significant fraction of children, with important implications for public health have been discovered in this study. This may lead to fatal disease in individuals, epidemics in the community, and threatens national and international targets of disease elimination, such as measles and congenital rubella syndrome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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