Rapid Risk Assessment: Shortage of acellular pertussis-containing vaccines and impact on immunisation programmes in the EU/EEA, 13 October 2015

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European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Shortage of acellular pertussis-containing vaccines and impact on immunisation programmes in the EU/EEA – 8 October 2015. Stockholm: ECDC; 2015.

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A shortage of acellular pertussis-containing combination vaccines for use in the EU/EEA immunisation programmes is currently affecting some of the Member States. Proposals of response options to address this situation are presented in a new Rapid Risk Assessment . The options are proposed for consideration by EU/EEA Member States in order to adjust their national vaccination schedules to overcome supply challenges and/or increased national demand. These principles are based on what is considered good practice and recent measures implemented by Member States.

Executive summary

This shortage is believed to be the result of reduced production capacities of the acellular pertussis antigen, which is used in the final vaccine formulation of numerous combination vaccines utilised throughout the EU/EEA Member States, as well as due to an increased worldwide demand for these combination vaccines.

The ECDC rapid risk assessment highlights the importance of securing protection to all infants against the recommended vaccine-preventable diseases, including pertussis and Hib, with minimum disruption of ongoing vaccination practices. Therefore, primary immunisation programmes should be preserved as much as possible, as should be the maternal immunisation programmes in the concerned countries.

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