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Epidemiologic effects of vaccines with complex direct effects in an age-structured population.

Abstract

Vaccines can alter the dynamic interaction of an infectious agent with a host in complex ways. The effect of routine childhood immunization on age-specific cases was studied in an age-structured population, assuming different vaccine effects at the individual level. Assumptions about vaccine efficacy include partial protection to infection and disease, reduction in infectiousness, waning of protection, and boosting of the level and duration of protection by natural infection. The concept of relative pathogenicity is introduced to describe the effect of a vaccine on the development of disease conditional on being infected. The concepts of the immunologically naive susceptible, naive susceptible equivalent, and relative residual infection potential are introduced in the context of defining the reproduction number of a population vaccinated with a partially protective vaccine. Sensitivity to boosting has a particularly pronounced effect in reducing the number of older vaccinated cases. Near the threshold for eliminating transmission, the dynamic behavior and number as well as age distribution of cases is very sensitive to the degree of protection and relative residual infectiousness. The number of unvaccinated cases is more sensitive to the level of coverage than to the type of vaccine, while the number of vaccinated cases is very sensitive to assumptions about vaccine efficacy.

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