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Original article

Vol. 144 No. 1718 (2014)

Immunisation coverage of adults: a vaccination counselling campaign in the pharmacies in Switzerland

  • Fabio Valeri
  • Christoph Hatz
  • Dominique Jordan
  • Claudine Leuthold
  • Astrid Czock
  • Phung Lang
DOI
https://doi.org/10.4414/smw.2014.13955
Cite this as:
Swiss Med Wkly. 2014;144:w13955
Published
20.04.2014

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To assess vaccination coverage for adults living in Switzerland.

METHODS: Through a media campaign, the general population was invited during 1 month to bring their vaccination certificates to the pharmacies to have their immunisation status evaluated with the software viavac©, and to complete a questionnaire.

RESULTS: A total of 496 pharmacies in Switzerland participated in the campaign, of which 284 (57%) submitted valid vaccination information. From a total of 3,634 participants in the campaign, there were 3,291 valid cases (participants born ≤1992) and 1,011 questionnaires completed. Vaccination coverage for the participants was 45.9% and 34.6% for five and six doses of diphtheria, 56.4% and 44.0% for tetanus and 66.3% and 48.0% for polio, respectively. Coverage estimates for one and two doses of measles vaccine were 76.5% and 49.4%, respectively, for the birth cohort 1967–1992 and 4.0% and 0.8%, respectively, for the cohort ≤1966. There was a significant difference in coverage for most vaccinations between the two aforementioned birth cohorts. A plot of the measles vaccine coverage over time shows that the increase in coverage correlated with policy changes in the Swiss Immunisation Schedule.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite selection bias and low participation, this study indicates that vaccination coverage for the basic recommended immunisations in the adult population in Switzerland is suboptimal. More efforts using various means and methods are needed to increase immunisation coverage in adolescents before they leave school. An established method to determine vaccination coverage for the general population could provide invaluable insights into the effects of changes in vaccination policies and disease outbreaks.

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