A model for the incremental burden of invasive Haemophilus influenzae type b due to a decline of childhood vaccination during the COVID-19 outbreak: A dynamic transmission model in Japan


Background: The current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak has caused a persistent decline in childhood vaccination coverage, including Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine, in some countries. Our objective was to evaluate the impact of decreased Hib vaccination due to COVID-19 on invasive Hib disease burden in Japan. Methods: Using a deterministic dynamic transmission model (susceptible-carriage-infection-recovery model), the incidence rates of invasive Hib disease in under 5 year olds in rapid vaccination recovery and persistent vaccination declined scenarios were compared for the next 10 years after 2020. The national Hib vaccination rate after the impact of COVID-19 reduced to 87% and 73% in 2020 from approximately 97% each in 2013-2019 for primary and booster doses. Results: While the persistent decline scenarios revealed an increase in invasive Hib disease incidence to 0.50/100,000 children under 5 years old, the incidence of the rapid recovery scenario slightly increased with a consistent decline of incidence after 2021. The shorter the duration of the decline in vaccination rate was, the smaller the incremental disease burden observed in the model. Compared to the rapid recovery scenario, the permanent decline scenario showed a 296.87 cumulative incremental quality-adjusted life years (QALY) loss for the next 10 years. Conclusions: The persistent decline of Hib vaccination rate due to COVID-19 causes an incremental disease burden irrespective of the possible decline of Hib transmission rate by COVID-19 mitigation measures. A rapid recovery of vaccination coverage rate can prevent this possible incremental disease burden.