Partnerships Programme

Dr Helen Petousis-Harris
The University of Auckland
Funder(s): HRC, Ministry of Health
Effectiveness of the New Zealand pertussis vaccine schedule
6 months

Lay summary

Pertussis remains a global health problem and despite achieving good immunisation coverage New Zealand continues to experience epidemics of pertussis. Currently available vaccines are not able to offer sustained protection against clinical disease and recent research suggests they may not prevent colonisation or transmission. Pertussis vaccine is currently administered at age 6 weeks, 3 months, 5 months, 4 years, and 11 years. It is not known what gains could be made in reducing the burden of pertussis in children by implementing an additional dose of vaccine in toddlers and whether this strategy would be cost effective. The focus of this study is the effectiveness of the current childhood pertussis immunisation schedule and the potential impact on disease and cost effectiveness of introducing an additional dose.

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