Vaccine Preventable Diseases and Vaccination Coverage in Australia, 2003 to 2005

Current and comparative morbidity from vaccine preventable diseases

Disclaimer: This is the fourth report on vaccine preventable disease and vaccination coverage in Australia, and is produced by the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance of Vaccine Preventable Diseases and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare on behalf of the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing published as a supplement to the Communicable Diseases Intelligence journal Volume 31, June 2007.

Page last updated: 20 July 2007

A summary of the relative morbidity and mortality due to the diseases covered in the three years prior to the current report (2000 to 2002) is shown in Table 28 and for the three years 2003 to 2005 in Table 29. While the limitations of the data sources for notification, hospitalisation and death should be borne in mind (see Chapter 2), and may be especially evident for rare diseases or diseases which lack a specific diagnostic test, together these data provide an informative overview of trends in the burden of vaccine preventable diseases in Australia over the past several years.

In children under five years of age (the main target of the current childhood program), ongoing reductions in relative disease burden continued in the period 2003 to 2005. Among diseases currently targeted by immunisation, hospitalisations due to measles, rubella, mumps, and presumed Hib disease have all continued to decrease. Although vaccination programs are relatively recent for these diseases, decreases in hospitalisations for meningococcal disease, pneumococcal disease, and varicella disease have also occurred. Hospitalisations due to pertussis continue to be a significant burden in young infants. Influenza, varicella, pneumococcal disease, pertussis and meningococcal disease accounted for the largest numbers of hospitalisations in those under the age of five years. Outside this age group, the three most commonly coded vaccine preventable diseases in hospitalised patients also included influenza and varicella, but zoster was the most common recorded cause. The vaccine preventable diseases most frequently recorded as the underlying cause of death were influenza in adults and meningococcal disease in infants. The implications of these data are discussed below, first with respect to vaccines included in the Australian Standard Vaccination Schedule (ASVS) during the review period and second with respect to vaccines available in Australia but not included in the ASVS up to the end of 2005.

Table 28. Average annual morbidity and mortality from vaccine preventable diseases in Australia for 3 years 1999/2000–2001/2002*

Disease
Notifications 2000–2002
(average no.)
Notification rate/100,000
(average rate)
Hospitalisations 1999/00–2001/02
(average no.)
Hospitalisation rate/100,000
(average rate)
Deaths‡ 2000–2002
(average no.)
Death rate /100,000
(average rate)
0–4 yr
All ages
0–4 yr
All ages
0–4 yr
All ages
0–4 yr
All ages
0–4 yr
All ages
0–4 yr
All ages
Diphtheria
0
0
0
0
0§
0§
0
0
0
0
0
0
Hib||
11
15
0.9
0.4
17
18
1.3
0.4
0
0
0
0
Hepatitis A
38
587
3
3
13
442
1.0
2.3
0.3
1.3
0.03
0.01
Hepatitis B‡,¶
2
407
0.13
2.1
0.3
154
0.0
0.81
0
9
0
0.05
Influenza**
1,510
3,671
119
19
696
3,425
54
18
2
51
0.16
0.26
Measles
22
94
1.7
0.5
17
58
1.4
0.3
0
0
0
0
Meningococcal disease
199
667
16
3
269
854
21.0
4.5
11.3
39
0.89
0.20
Mumps††
15
132
1.2
0.7
10
46
0.8
0.2
0
1
0
0.005
Pertussis
602
7,013
47
36
363
542
28.3
2.8
2
2.3
0.16
0.012
Pneumococcal (invasive)‡‡, **
802
2,466
63
13
341
1,021
26.6
5.3
2.3
14.3
0.18
0.07
Poliomyelitis
0
0
0
0
0
1.3
0
0.007
0
0
0
0
Rubella
26
281
2.1
1.4
9
28
0.7
0.14
0
0
0
0
Tetanus
0.3
5
0.03
0.03
0.7
29
0.05
0.15
0
1
0
0.005
Varicella
NN
NN
NN
NN
774
1,686
60
9
0.7
8
0.05
0.04
Zoster
NN
NN
NN
NN
45
4,790
3.5
25
0
15.3
0
0.08

* Notification data, National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System, January 2000–December 2002; hospitalisation data, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW)
National Morbidity database, July 1999–June 2002; death data, AIHW National Mortality database, January 2000–December 2002.

† See Chapter 3 for case definitions.

‡ Principal diagnosis only for hospitalisations (hepatitis B, poliomyelitis, diphtheria), and for deaths, only cases with disease classified as underlying cause of death.

§ Only includes hospitalisations coded as pharyngeal, nasopharyngeal or laryngeal diphtheria.

|| Data for Haemophilus influenzae disease include only cases aged 0–14 years. For hospitalisations and deaths only includes meningitis.

¶ Includes only acute hepatitis B notifications, hospitalisations and deaths.

** Notifications only complete for 2002 (influenza and pneumococcal disease)—notification rate for 2002 only.

†† In Queensland, mumps not notifiable in 2000.

‡‡ Includes pneumococcal meningitis and septicaemia only.

NN: Not Notifiable.

Table 29. Average annual morbidity and mortality from vaccine preventable diseases in Australia for 3 years 2002/2003–2004/2005*

Disease
Notifications 2003–2005
(average no.)
Notification rate/100,000
(average rate)
Hospitalisations
(average no.)
Hospitalisation rate/100,000
(average rate)
Deaths 2003–2004
(average no.)
Death rate/100,000
(average rate)
0–4 yr
All ages
0–4 yr
All ages
0–4 yr
All ages
0–4 yr
All ages
0–4 yr
All ages
0–4 yr
All ages
Diphtheria
0
0
0
0
0§
0§
0
0
0
0
0
0
Hib||
8
10
0.6
0.3
12
13
0.9
0.3
0
0
0
0
Hepatitis A
31
358
2.5
1.8
9
252
0.7
1.3
0
0
0
0
Hepatitis B‡,¶
2
291
0.16
1.5
0
172
0
0.87
0
11
0
0.06
Influenza
1,058
3,395
84
17
1,039
3,039
82
15
2.5
51
0.20
0.25
Measles
8
49
0.6
0.3
12
31
1.0
0.2
0
0
0
0
Meningococcal disease
142
452
11
2.3
219
712
17
3.6
6
23
0.5
0.1
Mumps
8
140
0.6
0.7
4
46
0.3
0.2
0
0.5
0
0.003
Pertussis
563
8,345
45
42
255
440
20
2.2
0.5
1
0.04
0.005
Pneumococcal (invasive)**
571
2,101
45
10
277
1,038
22
5.2
5.5
19
0.4
0.095
Poliomyelitis
0
0
0
0
0.3
2
0.03
0.01
0
0
0
0
Rubella
4
39
0.3
0.2
7
15
0.6
0.07
0
0
0
0
Tetanus
0
4
0
0.02
0
22
0
0.11
0
0
0
0
Varicella
NN
NN
NN
NN
532
1,427
42
7.2
1.5
5.5
0.12
0.03
Zoster
NN
NN
NN
NN
36
4,975
2.8
25
0
19
0
0.095

* Notification data, National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System, January 2003–December 2005; hospitalisation data, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) National Morbidity database, July 2002–June 2005; death data, AIHW National Mortality database, January 2003–December 2004.

† See Chapter 3 for case definitions.

‡ Principal diagnosis only for hospitalisations (hepatitis B, poliomyelitis, diphtheria) and for deaths only cases with disease classified as underlying cause of death.

§ Only includes hospitalisations coded as pharyngeal, nasopharyngeal or laryngeal diphtheria as per included codes for previous review period.

|| Data for Haemophilus influenzae disease include only cases aged 0–14 years. For hospitalisations and deaths only includes meningitis cases.

¶ Includes only acute hepatitis B notifications, hospitalisations and deaths.

** Includes pneumococcal meningitis and septicaemia only.

NN: Not Notifiable

Document download

This publication is available as a downloadable document.

Vaccine Preventable Diseases and Vaccination Coverage in Australia, 2003 to 2005(PDF 1622 KB)