Maintaining high rates of measles immunization in Africa

J. Lessler, W. J. Moss, S. A. Lowther, D. A.T. Cummings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Supplementary immunization activities (SIAs) are important in achieving high levels of population immunity to measles virus. Using data from a 2006 survey of measles vaccination in Lusaka, Zambia, we developed a model to predict measles immunity following routine vaccination and SIAs, and absent natural infection. Projected population immunity was compared between the current programme and alternatives, including supplementing routine vaccination with a second dose, or SIAs at 1-, 2-, 3-, 4- and 5-year intervals. Current routine vaccination plus frequent SIAs could maintain high levels of population immunity in children aged <5 years, even if each frequent SIA has low coverage (e.g. ≥72% for bi-annual 60% coverage SIAs vs. ≥69% for quadrennial 95% coverage SIAs). A second dose at 12 months with current coverage could achieve 81% immunity. Circulating measles virus will only increase population immunity. Public health officials should consider frequent SIAs when resources for a two-dose strategy are unavailable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1039-1049
Number of pages11
JournalEpidemiology and infection
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • Measles (rubeola)
  • vaccination (immunization)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Infectious Diseases


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