Epidemiology of varicella and effectiveness of varicella vaccine in Hangzhou, China, 2019
Xu, Y.; Liu, Y.; Zhang, X.; Zhang, X.; Du, J.; Cai, Y.; Wang, J.; Che, X.; Gu, W.; Jiang, W.; Chen, J.
Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics 2020: 1-6
ISSN/ISBN: 2164-554X PMID: 32574100 DOI: 10.1080/21645515.2020.1769395
The varicella vaccine (VarV) is not included in the national childhood immunization schedules in China, although 2-dose VarV (VarV2) were recommended for children at 1 and 4 years of age in Hangzhou since 2014. However, the reported incremental vaccine effectiveness (VE) of VarV2 varies widely among studies. We described the epidemiological characteristics of varicella in Hangzhou, assessed the VE of VarV, so as to provide scientific evidence on optimization and adjustment of immunization strategies for varicella prevention in China. All varicella cases diagnosed in a hospital in Hangzhou are reported to China Information System for Disease Control and Prevention (CISDCP). The demographic information of reported varicella cases onset from January 1 to December 31, 2019 was extracted from CISDCP on Jan 31, 2020. The demographic information was obtained from the information system of the National Center for Disease Prevention and Control. We conducted a 1:1 matched case-control study to assess the effectiveness of VarV. Participant data were collected with standardized questionnaires. VarV vaccination status was checked by using Hangzhou Immunization Information System (HZIIS). A total of 11,813 varicella cases were reported in Hangzhou, China, 2019, without any death. Annual estimated incidence of varicella was 120 cases per 100,000 populations in 2019. The overall estimated incidence rate of varicella was high, especially for persons aged 10-19 years old and in suburb areas. The seasonal pattern was apparent, mostly due to the cases among students and children in kindergarten. In total, 218 varicella cases and 218 matched controls were included for evaluating the VE of VarV. VarV vaccination produced a high level of protection against varicella, while VE of VarV2 was even better. VE of VarV1 was 91.0% (95%CI: 81.6%-95.8%), and VE was 98.0% (95.5%-99.2%) for VarV2. Continuous monitoring and management of varicella cases is necessary, especially in those endemic areas, high-risk populations, and peak periods; a 2-dose VarV strategy is highly recommended, and relevant health institutions should consider the inclusion of VarV in the national immunization program to better control varicella epidemic and reduce the burden of varicella.