Early impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and physical distancing measures on routine childhood vaccinations in England, January to April 2020

Helen I. McDonald*, Elise Tessier, Joanne White, Matthew Woodruff, Charlotte Knowles, Chris Bates, John Parry, Jemma L. Walker, J. Anthony Scott, Liam Smeeth, Joanne Yarwood, Mary Ramsay, Michael Edelstein

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Using electronic health records, we assessed the early impact of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on routine childhood vaccination in England by 26 April 2020. Measles-mumps-rubella vaccination counts fell from February 2020, and in the 3 weeks after introduction of physical distancing measures were 19.8% lower (95% confidence interval: −20.7 to −18.9) than the same period in 2019, before improving in mid-April. A gradual decline in hexavalent vaccination counts throughout 2020 was not accentuated by physical distancing.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEurosurveillance
Volume25
Issue number19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: The research was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) in Immunisation at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in partnership with Public Health England (PHE). The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, the Department of Health and Social Care, or PHE.

All authors have completed the ICMJE uniform disclosure form at www.icmje.org/coi_disclosure.pdf and declare: HIM, JLW, JAS, LS and MR had financial support from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) in Immunisation for the submitted work; Public Health England Immunisation and Countermeasures Division has provided vaccine manufacturers with post-marketing surveillance reports on vaccine-preventable infection which the companies are required to submit to the UK Licensing Authority in compliance with their Risk Management Strategy, and a cost recovery charge is made for these reports; no other relationships or activities that could appear to have influenced the submitted work.

Open Access: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) Licence. You may share and adapt the material, but must give appropriate credit to the source, provide a link to the licence and indicate if changes were made. Any supplementary material referenced in the article can be found in the online version. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) Licence. You may share and adapt the material, but must give appropriate credit to the source, provide a link to the licence and indicate if changes were made. Any supplementary material referenced in the article can be
found in the online version.

Publisher Copyright: This article is copyright of the authors or their affiliated institutions, 2020.

Citation: McDonald Helen I , Tessier Elise , White Joanne M , Woodruff Matthew , Knowles Charlotte , Bates Chris , Parry John , Walker Jemma L , Scott J Anthony , Smeeth Liam, Yarwood Joanne , Ramsay Mary , Edelstein Michael . Early impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and physical distancing measures on routine childhood vaccinations in England, January to April 2020. Euro Surveill. 2020;25(19):pii=2000848.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2020.25.19.2000848

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