Estimates of the global burden of Congenital Rubella Syndrome, 1996-2019

Emilia Vynnycky*, Jennifer K. Knapp, Timos Papadopoulos, Felicity T. Cutts, Masahiko Hachiya, Shinsuke Miyano, Susan E. Reef

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Many countries introduced rubella-containing vaccination (RCV) after 2011, following changes in recommended World Health Organization (WHO) vaccination strategies and external support. We evaluated the impact of these introductions. Methods: We estimated the country-specific, region-specific, and global Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS) incidence during 1996-2019 using mathematical modeling, including routine and campaign vaccination coverage and seroprevalence data. Results: In 2019, WHO African and Eastern Mediterranean regions had the highest estimated CRS incidence (64 [95% confidence intervals (CI): 24-123] and 27 [95% CI: 4-67] per 100,000 live births respectively), where nearly half of births occur in countries that have introduced RCV. Other regions, where >95% of births occurred in countries that had introduced RCV, had a low estimated CRS incidence (<1 [95% CI: <1 to 8] and <1 [95% CI: <1 to 12] per 100,000 live births in South-East Asia [SEAR] and the Western Pacific [WPR] respectively, and similarly in Europe and the Americas). The estimated number of CRS births globally declined by approximately two-thirds during 2010-2019, from 100,000 (95% CI: 54,000-166,000) to 32,000 (95% CI: 13,000-60,000), representing a 73% reduction since 1996, largely following RCV introductions in WPR and SEAR, where the greatest reductions occurred. Conclusions: Further reductions can occur by introducing RCV in remaining countries and maintaining high RCV coverage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-156
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Infectious Diseases
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023


  • Congenital Rubella Syndrome
  • Mathematical modeling
  • Measles-rubella vaccine
  • Rubella
  • Seroprevalence


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