Healthcare workers (HCWs) pose a risk to themselves and their patients if not protected against vaccine-preventable diseases. Alarmingly, lacking immunity has been reported in several studies. We assessed the immunity against vaccine-preventable diseases in 157 pediatric HCWs in Helsinki Children's Hospital. The HCWs enrolled answered a questionnaire and gave a serum sample. Antibodies were measured with EIA against MMR-diseases, tetanus and diphtheria toxins, Hepatitis B (HBV), Hepatitis A (HAV), varicella zoster and pertussis toxin. Neutralizing antibodies against poliovirus 1, 2 and 3 were measured. All of the HCWs had antibodies against tetanus and 89.8% against diphtheria. All had measurable levels of polio antibodies to all three polioviruses. 41% had suboptimal levels of antibodies against at least one of the antigens tested: MMR-viruses, diphtheria, HBV or polio. Measles, mumps and rubella antibodies were detectable in 81.5%, 89.2% and 93%, respectively. Only one HCW had no varicella-antibodies. Hepatitis B surface antibodies (HBsAb) were detected in 89.8% of the nurses. 67.5% had HAV-antibodies. A poor correlation between detected antibody levels and reported vaccination history was noticed, indicating a need for a universal record system for registering the vaccines given to each individual.
This report provides an updated overview of recommended and mandatory vaccinations in the European Union (EU), Iceland and Norway, considering the differences in vaccine programme implementation between countries. In 2010, the Vaccine European New Integrated Collaboration Effort (VENICE) network, conducted a survey among the VENICE project gatekeepers to learn more about how national vaccination programmes are implemented, whether recommended or mandatory. Information was collected from all 27 EU Member States, Iceland and Norway. In total 15 countries do not have any mandatory vaccinations; the remaining 14 have at least one mandatory vaccination included in their programme. Vaccination against polio is mandatory for both children and adults in 12 countries; diphtheria and tetanus vaccination in 11 countries and hepatitis B vaccination in 10 countries. For eight of the 15 vaccines considered, some countries have a mixed strategy of recommended and mandatory vaccinations. Mandatory vaccination may be considered as a way of improving compliance to vaccination programmes. However, compliance with many programmes in Europe is high, using only recommendations. More information about the diversity in vaccine offer at European level may help countries to adapt vaccination strategies based on the experience of other countries. However, any proposal on vaccine strategies should be developed taking into consideration the local context habits.
Primary immunodeficiency diseases (PIDs) comprise a heterogeneous group of disorders mainly characterized by increased susceptibility to infections. The aims of this study were to estimate the occurrence rate of PID in the paediatric (age?=?18?years) population of southern Sweden (approx. 265,000 children) and to describe their demographic, clinical and immunological characteristics. During a period of 4?years, in four paediatric speciality clinics in Sk?ne County in southern Sweden, children being seen for infections and fulfilling specific criteria were evaluated according to a predefined examination schedule. The initial analysis consisted of complete blood counts with analysis of lymphocyte subpopulations (T, B, NK cells), measurement of immunoglobulins (IgG, IgA, IgM, IgE and IgG subclasses), and assessment of the complement system (classical, alternative and lectin pathways). In addition, results of these immunological analyses in other children from the same area and time period were evaluated.
In total, 259 children (53.6% males) met the criteria and were included. The most common infection was recurrent otitis media. Immunological analyses results for about two thirds of the patients were outside age-related reference intervals. Further examination in this latter group identified 15 children with PID (9 males); 7 (2.7%) had genetically defined PID, representing 4 different diagnoses, and another 8 (3.1%) had a clinically defined PID - common variable immunodeficiency. No additional PID patient was identified from the evaluation of laboratory results in children not included in the study. The median age at diagnosis was 3.5?years (range 1-12 years).
The occurrence rate of PID was about 4 new cases per year in this population. Several different PID diagnoses were found, and the application of specified criteria to identify PID patients was useful. In children who are prone to infection, the use of a predefined set of immunological laboratory analyses at their first examination was beneficial for early identification of patients with PID.
This study aims to quantify and compare preferences of citizens from different European countries for vaccination programme characteristics during pandemics, caused by pathogens which are transmitted through respiratory droplets. Internet panel members, nationally representative based on age, sex, educational level and region, of four European Union Member States (Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and Sweden, n?=?2,068) completed an online discrete choice experiment. These countries, from different geographical areas of Europe, were chosen because of the availability of high-quality Internet panels and because of the cooperation between members of the project entitled Effective Communication in Outbreak Management: development of an evidence-based tool for Europe (ECOM). Data were analysed using panel latent class regression models. In the case of a severe pandemic scenario, vaccine effectiveness was the most important characteristic determining vaccination preference in all countries, followed by the body that advises on vaccination. In Sweden, the advice of family and/or friends and the advice of physicians strongly affected vaccine preferences, in contrast to Poland and Spain, where the advice of (international) health authorities was more decisive. Irrespective of pandemic scenario or vaccination programme characteristics, the predicted vaccination uptakes were lowest in Sweden, and highest in Poland. To increase vaccination uptake during future pandemics, the responsible authorities should align with other important stakeholders in the country and communicate in a coordinated manner.