New observational study suggests use of combination vaccines may improve immunization coverage rates in infants

mean delays in vaccination were significantly shorter (p<0.01) in the combination cohort for the immunization series of the antigens contained in PEDIARIX. Children in the combination cohort had a mean delay of 245 days in receiving 4 DTaP vaccinations, 213 days in receiving 3 hepatitis B vaccinations, and 139 days in receiving 3 polio vaccinations, compared to respective delays of 317 days, 363 days and 252 days in the component cohort (p<0.001 for each comparison). There were significantly greater percentages of children in the combination cohort judged to be on time for receipt of the polio, hepatitis B, and varicella vaccination series as well as a significant increase in the percentage of children on time for all vaccinations (10.1 percent in the combination group vs. 6.8 percent in the component group, p<0.001). In addition, significantly more children in the component cohort had cumulative delays of greater than six months compared to those in the PEDIARIX cohort (78.7 percent vs. 67.2 percent, respectively; p<0.0001). When assessing children in both cohorts considered covered at 24 months by traditional measures, 44.0 percent, 55.1 percent and 18.1 percent of children had delays for DTaP, hepatitis B and polio, respectively. Delays in the same vaccinations were also observed in the CDC-sponsored study*, which was based on the National Immunization Survey. While overall the on-time rates favored the combination cohort, this analysis did not find a significant difference for on-time receipt of DTaP, Hib, or MMR for the two cohorts.

*Luman ET, et al. Timeliness of Childhood Vaccinations in the United States, JAMA. 2005;293:1204-1211

The second analysis of both cohorts assessed the impact of on-time (according to the ACIP/AAFP/AAP definition of age-appropriate vaccination) first, second and third DTaP doses (first year primary series) on the timeliness of the fourth dose of DTaP (second year booster dose). Of the children previously ide


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