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

Vaccine preventable disease notification rates compared with other industrialised countries

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

The most recent notification rates for five vaccine preventable diseases compared with the rates in New Zealand, the USA, Canada and England, are shown in Table 30. Notifications of invasive Hib disease were low in all countries, reflecting the excellent results of Hib vaccination programs. Australia has moved closer to the situation in North America with respect to measles elimination, with notification rates decreasing from 1.7 per 100,000 in 1998 to 0.1 per 100,000 in 2005. The mumps outbreak in young adults in the UK is clearly evident, with the increasing notifications in Australia mild in comparison. Pertussis notification rates in Australia remain high compared with the USA, Canada and England, although this is attributable at least in part to the availability of serology for diagnosis. New Zealand has experienced a recent epidemic period with high rates in children primarily diagnosed by PCR or culture. Comparisons with other countries are difficult because of differences in case definitions for notification and laboratory diagnosis and notification in Australia. Nevertheless, it is likely that Australia still has a comparatively high pertussis disease burden, as reflected in hospitalisations.

Table 30. Most recent* notification rates per 100,000 population for frequently notified vaccine preventable diseases, by country of residence

Disease
Australia New Zealand304 USA305 Canada306 England/Wales307
Hib disease
0.1
0.2
0.7
0.2
0.3
Measles
0.1
0.5
0
<0.05
4.6 (0.2)
Mumps
1.2
1.7
0.1
0.1
31.1 (17.7)
Pertussis
55.1
72.8
8.9
8.8
1.0
Rubella
0.2
0.3
0
<0.05
2.5 (<0.05)§

* Australia 2005; New Zealand 2005; USA 2004; Canada 2004; England/Wales 2004.

† Incidence corrected for proportion serologically confirmed = 5%.

‡ Incidence corrected for proportion serologically confirmed = 57%.

§ Incidence corrected for proportion serologically confirmed = 0.2%


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