Data on long-term impact of universal national vaccination programmes against hepatitis A are lacking. We aimed at evaluating the impact on hepatitis A incidence of the Israeli toddlers-only universal routine two-dose vaccination programme against hepatitis A initiated in 1999. All hepatitis A episodes reported to the national surveillance system from 1993 to 2012 were analysed in relation to the vaccination programme and coverage. Mean vaccine coverage in Israel between 2003 and 2010 was 92% for the first dose, given at 18 months of age, and 88% for the second dose, given at 24 months. The annual hepatitis A incidence declined from a mean of 50.4 per 100,000 in the period between 1993 and 1998 to a mean of <1.0, during the period from 2008 to 2012, representing a reduction of > 98%. The decline was evident in all ages and ethnicity groups, including unvaccinated populations. Of the 1,247 cases reported nationwide between 2002 and 2012, the vaccination status could be ascertained in 1,108 (89%). Among them, only 20 (2%) were reported be vaccinated with one dose and three (<1%) received two doses. The sustained results of this longterm impact study suggest that a toddlers-only universal routine two-dose vaccination programme is highly effective and practical. These findings underscore the importance of sustainability in both the surveillance systems and vaccination programmes and will aid to determine vaccination policies.
|State||Published - 19 Feb 2015|