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Immunity to vaccine-preventable diseases among paediatric healthcare workers in Denmark, 2019

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BackgroundHealthcare workers (HCW) have been identified as index cases in disease outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases (VPD) in hospitals.AimWe investigated whether Danish paediatric HCW were protected against selected serious VPD.MethodsWe included 90% of staff members from two paediatric departments. All 555 HCW (496 women) supplied a blood sample for serology and filled in a questionnaire. Antibodies were measured with enzyme immunoassay against measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), varicella zoster, pertussis toxin and diphtheria toxin.ResultsProtective levels of IgG were found for measles (90.3%), mumps (86.5%), rubella (92.3%), varicella (98.6%) and diphtheria (80.5%). We found seropositivity for all three MMR components in 421 (75.9%) HCW, lowest in those younger than 36 years (63.3%). Only 28 (5%) HCW had measurable IgG to pertussis. HCW with self-reported immunity defined as previous infection or vaccination, had protective levels of IgG against measles, mumps, rubella and varicella in 87.4-98.8% of cases, not significantly higher than in those not reporting immunity. Previous history of disease had a high positive predictive value (PPV) of 96.8-98.8%. The PPV for previous vaccination ranged from 82.5% to 90.3%. In contrast, negative predictive values of self-reported history of disease and vaccination were remarkably low for all diseases.ConclusionThe immunity gaps found primarily in young HCW indicate a need for a screening and vaccination strategy for this group. Considering the poor correlation between self-reported immunity and seropositivity, efforts should be made to check HCW's immune status in order to identify those who would benefit from vaccination.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEurosurveillance
Volume26
Issue number17
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
ISSN1560-7917
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). All rights reserved.

Copyright:
Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

ID: 65428732