Measles prevention—how to pull the trigger for vaccination campaigns?
Measles is an extremely contagious disease that can cause serious health outcomes in children. Routine vaccination has greatly reduced measles deaths in recent years, but very high vaccination coverage is needed in all countries to prevent disease outbreaks.
In a Research Article in PLOS Medicine, Justin Lessler of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA and colleagues describe a modeling study aimed at assessing the potential benefits of using supplementary vaccination campaigns triggered by measles outbreaks or by serological surveys of population immunity as part of a measles control strategy.
By carrying out simulations based on four scenarios capturing different levels of measles incidence, Lessler and colleagues estimate that supplemental vaccination campaigns triggered by disease outbreaks could prevent 28,613 cases (95% confidence interval [CI] 25,722-31,505) over 15 y in high-incidence settings, and 599 cases (95% CI 464-735) in the lowest-incidence setting examined. Vaccination campaigns prompted by serological surveys, in contrast, could prevent 89,173 cases (95% CI 86,768-91,577) and 744 (95% CI 612-876) cases in the highest- and lowest-incidence settings, respectively, but would need to occur annually in high-incidence settings.