In June 2015, Alberta, Canada instituted a universal publicly funded rotavirus vaccination programme (Rotarix, RV1), with vaccine doses scheduled for 2 and 4 months of age. Vaccination was restricted so that infants were only allowed to receive first dose between 6 and 20 weeks of age, and second dose before eight calendar months of age. We assessed the coverage and schedule non-compliance of rotavirus vaccination for babies born between June 2015 and August 2016, that is, since the inception of the publicly funded rotavirus vaccination programme, and determined factors associated with rotavirus vaccine uptake.
Retrospective cohort study using linked administrative health data.
Cohort of 66 689 children.
(1) First and second dose rotavirus vaccination coverage, (2) percent of children non-compliant with recommended vaccine schedule and (3) adjusted ORs for factors associated with vaccination status.
For the 66 689 children included in the study, coverage levels for one-dose and two-dose rotavirus vaccination were 87% and 83%, respectively. In comparison, two-dose diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis-polio-Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine coverage was 92%, despite having the same dosing schedule. Schedule non-compliance during the publicly funded programme was very low. We observed socioeconomic disparities in the uptake of the vaccine, with income, location of residence and number of children in the household all contributing to the odds of a child being vaccinated with rotavirus.
Compliance to the recommended rotavirus schedule was very high, suggesting that even with the restrictive rotavirus vaccine schedule, the vaccine can be delivered on-time. However, rotavirus vaccine coverage remained lower than DTaP, a similarly scheduled childhood vaccination. We also observed socioeconomic disparities in vaccine uptake. These findings raise concerns about rotavirus protection in the groups at highest risk for gastrointestinal illness, including low-income and rural populations.
The appropriateness of using routinely collected laboratory data combined with administrative data for estimating influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE) is still being explored. This paper outlines a protocol to estimate influenza VE using linked laboratory and administrative data which could act as a companion to estimates derived from other methods.
We will use the test-negative design to estimate VE for each influenza type/subtype and season. Province-wide individual-level records of positive and negative influenza tests at the Provincial Laboratory for Public Health in Alberta will be linked, by unique personal health numbers, to administrative databases and vaccination records held at the Ministry of Health in Alberta to determine covariates and influenza vaccination status, respectively. Covariates of interests include age, sex, immunocompromising chronic conditions and healthcare setting. Cases will be defined based on an individual’s first positive influenza test during the season, and potential controls will be defined based on an individual’s first negative influenza test during the season. One control for each case will be randomly selected based on the week the specimen was collected. We will estimate VE using multivariable logistic regression.
Ethics approval was obtained from the University of Alberta’s Health Research Ethics Board—Health Panel under study ID Pro00075997. Results will be disseminated by public health officials in Alberta.