BMC Medicine 15, June 2017
The World Health Organisation recommends the use of catch-up campaigns as part of the introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) to accelerate herd protection and hence PCV impact. The value of a catch-up campaign is a trade-off between the costs of vaccinating additional age groups and the benefit of additional direct and indirect protection. There is a paucity of observational data, particularly from low- and middle-income countries, to quantify the optimal breadth of such catch-up campaigns.
In Kilifi, Kenya, PCV10 was introduced in 2011 using the three-dose Expanded Programme on Immunisation infant schedule and a catch-up campaign in children <5 years old. We fitted a transmission dynamic model to detailed local data, including nasopharyngeal carriage and invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD), to infer the marginal impact of the PCV catch-up campaign over hypothetical routine cohort vaccination in that setting and to estimate the likely impact of alternative campaigns and their dose efficiency.
We estimated that, within 10 years of introduction, the catch-up campaign among children <5 years old prevents an additional 65 (48–84) IPD cases across age groups, compared to PCV cohort introduction alone. Vaccination without any catch-up campaign prevented 155 (121–193) IPD cases and used 1321 (1058–1698) PCV doses per IPD case prevented. In the years after implementation, the PCV programme gradually accrues herd protection, and hence its dose efficiency increases: 10 years after the start of cohort vaccination alone the programme used 910 (732–1184) doses per IPD case averted. We estimated that a two-dose catch-up among children <1 year old uses an additional 910 (732–1184) doses per additional IPD case averted. Furthermore, by extending a single-dose catch-up campaign to children aged 1 to <2 years and subsequently to those aged 2 to <5 years, the campaign uses an additional 412 (296–606) and 543 (403–763) doses per additional IPD case averted. These results were not sensitive to vaccine coverage, serotype competition, the duration of vaccine protection or the relative protection of infants.
We find that catch-up campaigns are a highly dose-efficient way to accelerate population protection against pneumococcal disease.