The incidence of varicella and herpes zoster in Taiwan during a period of increasing varicella vaccine coverage, 2000-2008

D. Y. Chao, Y. Z. Chien, Y. P. Yeh, P. S. Hsu, I. B. Lian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The introduction and the widespread use of the varicella vaccine in Taiwan has led to a 75-80% decrease in the incidence of varicella in children. However the vaccine's long-term impact on the incidence of herpes zoster (HZ) has attracted attention. By controlling gender, underlying diseases, and age effects, a Poisson regression was applied on the 2000-2008 chart records of 240 000 randomly selected residents who enrolled in the Universal National Health Insurance. The results show that, as the vaccine coverage in children increases, the incidence of varicella decreases. However, the incidence of HZ increased even before the implementation of the free varicella vaccination programme in 2004, particularly in females. The increase in the incidence of HZ cannot be entirely and directly attributed to the widespread vaccination of children. Continuous monitoring is needed to understand the secular trends in HZ before and after varicella vaccination in Taiwan and in other countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1131-1140
Number of pages10
JournalEpidemiology and Infection
Volume140
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jun 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Infectious Diseases

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