Modelling the Effects of Booster Dose Vaccination Schedules and Recommendations for Public Health Immunization Programs: The Case of Haemophilus Influenzae Serotype B
Background Haemophilus influenzae serotype b (Hib) has yet to be eliminated despite the implementation of routine infant immunization programs. There is no consensus regarding the number of primary vaccine doses and an optimal schedule for the booster dose. We sought to evaluate the effect of a booster dose after receiving the primary series on the long-term disease incidence. Methods A stochastic model of Hib transmission dynamics was constructed to compare the long-term impact of a booster vaccination and different booster schedules after receiving the primary series on the incidence of carriage and symptomatic disease. We parameterized the model with available estimates for the efficacy of Hib conjugate vaccine and durations of both vaccine-induced and naturally acquired immunity. Results We found that administering a booster dose substantially reduced the population burden of Hib disease compared to the scenario of only receiving the primary series. Comparing the schedules, the incidence of carriage for a 2-year delay (on average) in booster vaccination was comparable or lower than that observed for the scenario of booster dose within 1 year after primary series. The temporal reduction of symptomatic disease was similar in the two booster schedules, suggesting no superiority of one schedule over the other in terms of reducing the incidence of symptomatic disease. Conclusions The findings underscore the importance of a booster vaccination for continued decline of Hib incidence. When the primary series provides a high level of protection temporarily, delaying the booster dose (still within the average duration of protection conferred by the primary series) may be beneficial to maintain longer-term protection levels and decelerate the decline of herd immunity in the population.