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Reading: Strategies for immunisation against rubella: evidence from a study in the Kalutara District

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Strategies for immunisation against rubella: evidence from a study in the Kalutara District

Authors:

P Palihawadana,

Epidemiological Unit, Department of Health Services, De Saram Place, Colombo, LK
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AR Wickremasinghe ,

Department of Community Medicine and Family Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayawardenapura, Nugegoda, LK
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J Perera

Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Colombo, LK
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Abstract

Objective To simulate different immunisation programs against rubella and estimate the proportion of the population susceptible to rubella infection of each.

Methods The impact of 3 immunisation schedules on the susceptibility of women of childbearing age and the community to rubella infection was simulated using a probabilistic approach. The first schedule involved selective immunisation of 12-year old girls, the second immunisation of all children at 3 years of age for different immunisation coverages, and the third comprised a combination of the first two. The proportion of different segments of the population currently susceptible to rubella was obtained from a field study conducted in the Kalutara District in 1999.

Results An immunisation program of 12-year old girls will reduce the susceptibility to rubella in 5 years in only the 15 to 19 year age group. In 10 years, the susceptibility in both the 15 to 19 and 20 to 24 year age groups will be reduced. Immunisation only of children at 3 years will take 20 years for a reduction in the susceptibility to rubella infection in the 15 to 19 year and the 20 to 24 year age groups, and the proportion of the population susceptible to rubella can be reduced to less than 10% in 20 years if 90% coverage is attained. If a combination of the two strategies ie. selective immunisation of girls at 12 years for 10 years and immunisation of all children at 3 years is adopted, the proportion of the community susceptible to rubella will be less than 14% in 10 years.

Conclusions The combination of immunising girls at 12 years of age for 10 years and all children at 3 years of age against rubella is recommended for Sri Lanka to reduce the risk of congenital rubella syndrome in the short term and the proportion susceptible to rubella in the community in the long term.

(Index words: Susceptibility to rubella, three immunisation schedules)

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v47i2.3453 CMJ 2002; 47(2): 52-57

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v47i2.3453
How to Cite: Palihawadana, P., Wickremasinghe, A. and Perera, J., 2011. Strategies for immunisation against rubella: evidence from a study in the Kalutara District. Ceylon Medical Journal, 47(2), pp.52–57. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v47i2.3453
Published on 25 Aug 2011.
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