Expert opinion on childhood immunisation schedule: Diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) vaccination

Expert opinion

Current childhood vaccination schedules are the result of historical tradition, compliance with provision of health services and national vaccine registration. They have been designed on the basis of different needs related to how the healthcare system – but also the education system – is organised at national level. During the last decade, the availability of new combined vaccine products registered at EU level has allowed some convergence of the use of those vaccines.
The current schedules for vaccination below 24 months of age in Europe with acellular pertussis-containing vaccines can be divided into few distinct groups (variants of 3-5-11, 2-3-4, 2-4-6 months). There is greater variation in the number of booster doses for children at school age or during adolescence.
In order to facilitate the scientific discussion on such issue, ECDC asked a panel of experts for their scientific opinion on the use of the DTP vaccine.