Impact of vaccination delay on deaths averted by pneumococcal conjugate vaccine: Modeled effects in 8 country scenarios

Emily D. Carter, Yvonne Tam, Neff Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Delay in vaccination from schedule has been frequently documented and varies by vaccine, dose, and setting. Vaccination delay may result in the failure to prevent deaths that would have been averted by on-schedule vaccination. We constructed a model to assess the impact of delay in vaccination with pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) on under-five mortality. The model accounted for the week of age-specific risk of pneumococcal mortality, direct effect of vaccination, and herd protection. For each model run, a cohort of children were exposed to the risk of mortality and protective effect of PCV for each week of age from birth to age five. The model was run with and without vaccination delay and difference in number of deaths averted was calculated. We applied the model to eight country-specific vaccination scenarios, reflecting variations in observed vaccination delay, PCV coverage, herd effect, mortality risk, and vaccination schedule. As PCV is currently being scaled up in India, we additionally evaluated the impact of vaccination delay in India under various delay scenarios and coverage levels. We found deaths averted by PCV with and without delay to be comparable in all of the country scenarios when accounting for herd protection. In India, the greatest relative difference in deaths averted was observed at low coverage levels and greatest absolute difference was observed around 60% vaccination coverage. Under moderate delay scenarios, vaccination delay had modest impact on deaths averted by PCV in India across levels of coverage or vaccination schedule. Without accounting for herd protection, vaccination delay resulted in much greater failure to avert deaths. Our model suggests that realistic vaccination delay has a minimal impact on the number of deaths averted by PCV when accounting for herd effect. High population coverage can largely over-ride the deleterious effect of vaccination delay through herd protection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5242-5249
Number of pages8
Issue number36
StatePublished - Aug 23 2019


  • Child mortality
  • Mathematical model
  • Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine
  • Timing
  • Vaccination
  • Vaccination delay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Veterinary
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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