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Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2012 Feb;8(2):184-8. doi: 10.4161/hv.18444. Epub 2012 Feb 1.

Evaluation of the establishment of herd immunity in the population by means of serological surveys and vaccination coverage.

Author information

1
Health Department of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain. pedro.plans@gencat.cat

Abstract

The necessary herd immunity blocking the transmission of an infectious agent in the population is established when the prevalence of protected individuals is higher than a critical value, called the herd immunity threshold. The establishment of herd immunity in the population can be determined using the vaccination coverage and seroepidemiological surveys. The vaccination coverage associated with herd immunity (V(c)) can be determined from the herd immunity threshold and vaccine effectiveness. This method requires a vaccine-specific effectiveness evaluation, and it can be used only for the herd immunity assessment of vaccinated communities in which the infectious agent is not circulating. The prevalence of positive serological results associated with herd immunity can be determined from the herd immunity threshold, in terms of prevalence of antibodies (p(c)) and serological test performance. The herd immunity is established when the prevalence of antibodies is higher than pc. This method can be used to assess the establishment of herd immunity in different population groups, both when the infectious agent is circulating and when it is not possible to assess vaccine effectiveness. The herd immunity assessment in Catalonia, Spain, showed that the additional vaccination coverage required to establish herd immunity was 3-6% for measles, mump and varicella and 11% poliovirus type III in school children, 17-59% for diphtheria in youth and adults and 25-46% for persussis in school children, youth and adults.

PMID:
22426372
DOI:
10.4161/hv.18444
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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