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25 years of chickenpox vaccine: 91 million protections


WASHINGTON, DC — 25 years after the United States first launched a universal immunization program to protect children. chicken pox (varicella), the program showed dramatic results, data analysis shows.

Results from 1995 to 2019, when universal immunization began, will be presented at the Infectious Diseases Week (IDWeek) 2022 Annual Meeting on Thursday, Mona Marin, M.D., medical epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Announced by Researchers analyzed public and surveillance data reported to the CDC.

Deaths in the under-20s group were nearly eliminated

Hospitalizations for chickenpox in children are now rare, and deaths from infection before age 20 have almost disappeared. But the benefits go even further.

Immunodeficiency Those too young to be vaccinated, pregnant women and infants also benefited from vaccination of their children.

About 3.8 million cases, 10,500 hospitalizations and 100 deaths from chickenpox are prevented in the United States each year thanks to vaccination programs, Mullin said.

Over 25 years, 91 million cases, 238,000 hospitalizations and 1,933 to 2,446 deaths were prevented.

However, chickenpox is still endemic in most parts of the world.

US First Universal Program

The disease was thought to have little impact until the first death occurred in the mid-1950s, Marin said. Chickenpox The deadly potential of the virus has been revealed in immunocompromised children.

The United States was the first country to introduce a universal vaccination program, Mullin said. In his first 10 years on a single-dose program, chickenpox cases, hospitalizations, and mortality decreased from 71% to 90% compared with previous years. But healthcare leaders wanted to fill the remaining gaps and target infections in schools.

“It was a burden that the United States considered unacceptable,” Mullin said.

The leaders measles We wanted the same for polio and chickenpox.

Two-dose vaccine launched in 2007

In 2007, the current two-dose policy was introduced. It is recommended that the first dose be given when he is 12-15 months old and the second when he is 4-6 years old. Immunizations are required before entering kindergarten.

Coverage was high, at least 90%. The study authors report. The two-dose program further reduced the number, size, and duration of outbreaks.Over 25 years, the proportion of outbreaks with fewer than 10 cases increased from 28% to 73%.

By 2019, incidence decreased by 97%, hospitalizations decreased by 94%, and mortality decreased by 97%.

The largest reductions were seen in people under the age of 20 born during the immunization programme. There was a 97% to 99% reduction in cases, hospitalizations, and incidence in that group compared with pre-vaccination rates.

Marin was found to be moderately effective (82%) in preventing all chickenpox and very effective (>97%) in preventing severe chickenpox with a single dose of the vaccine. says.

“A second dose improves protection against all chickenpox by more than 10%,” she said.

But there have been advances beyond medical advances.

When the researchers calculated the economic benefits, they found $23 billion in medical costs saved (this also factored in wages lost from staying home caring for sick children). It has been).

astonishing results

Jeanne Marazzo, M.D., director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said: Medscape Medical News “As a non-vaccine specialist like me, the reduction in deaths, let alone hospitalizations, was astonishing. There was not.”

The decline in shingles among young people is interesting, she said. The big question, she said, is what impact this will have. Herpes zoster Because chickenpox and shingles are caused by the same virus, infections in middle-aged adults increase over time.

Marazzo also mentioned calculating economic savings.

“This is a very inexpensive intervention. It’s one of the best examples of how a simple vaccine can influence the chain of events that is the result of chronic viral infection,” she said. I got

There is also a message for the current debate on COVID-19 vaccination.

“To me, this is further evidence of the deep population-level effects that a safe vaccine can have,” Marazzo said.

The authors and Marazzo report no relevant financial relationships.

Infectious Disease Week (IDWeek) 2022 Annual Meeting: Abstract 801. Released October 20, 2022.

Marcia Frellick is a freelance journalist based in Chicago. She previously contributed to Chicago She’s Tribune, Science She’s News, and was editor at Chicago She’s the Sun Times, Cincinnati She’s the Enquirer, and St. She’s the Cloud (Minnesota) Times. . Follow her on her Twitter. @mfrellick.

Follow Medscape for more information. Facebook, twitter, InstagramWhen Youtube.




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