Bhim Gopal Dhoubhadel, Ikumi Sawada, Dhruba Shrestha, Yoshifumi Fukuya, Ganendra Bhakta Raya, Eric Ipyn Nébié, Yumiko Hayashi, Rasila Pasakhala, Motoi Suzuki, Konosuke Morimoto, Christopher M Parry, Koya Ariyoshi
Background: A 7.8 R scale earthquake hit Nepal in April 2015 and caused about 9000 deaths along with damage to infrastructure, including the water and sewage system. Bhaktapur was one of the highly affected districts. A typhoid vaccination campaign (pre-emptive) was carried out among children who were living in the temporary shelters in this district. The assessment of vaccine effectiveness after a pre-emptive typhoid vaccine campaign following an earthquake has previously not been attempted in Nepal.
Objective: To describe the pre-emptive typhoid Vi capsular polysaccharide vaccination campaign and an evaluation of the vaccine effectiveness.
Methods: We conducted a pre-emptive typhoid Vi capsular polysaccharide vaccination campaign among children between 2 and 15 years of age dwelling in 23 temporary shelters in Bhaktapur district after the earthquake. Surveillance of clinical typhoid was carried out from 2014 to 2017 in Siddhi Memorial Hospital, the only hospital for children in the district. We calculated vaccine effectiveness using a case-control study design (clinical typhoid as cases and chest x-ray confirmed pneumonia as controls).
Results: Three thousand nine hundred sixteen children of age 2-15 years residing in the 23 temporary shelters in Bhaktapur received the typhoid Vi capsular polysaccharide vaccine between July and December 2015. 2193 children of age 2-15 years were admitted to the hospital during the study period and 260 (11.9%) were diagnosed with clinical typhoid. The numbers of children admitted with clinical typhoid decreased over the study period (105 in 2014 and 47 in 2017; P = 0.001). Overall vaccine effectiveness was calculated at 52% (95% CI -46 to 85%), and it was 87% (95% CI -25 to 99) among children less than 5 years of age.
Conclusions: We successfully conducted a pre-emptive vaccination campaign against typhoid after the 2015 Nepal earthquake. The pre-emptive vaccination campaign appeared to be more effective among children less than 5 years of age. Further studies are needed to assess the effectiveness of pre-emptive use of typhoid vaccines in the emergency situations. We highlight the challenges of calculating vaccine effectiveness of a typhoid vaccine in an emergency setting.
Click here to read the entire article on BMC