To quantify the impact of long-standing vaccination programmes on notified cases in the Netherlands.
Estimates based on model projections of historical morbidity data.
We collected and digitised previously unavailable monthly case notifications of diphtheria, poliomyelitis, mumps and rubella in the Netherlands over the period 1919-2015. Poisson regression models accounting for seasonality, multi-year cycles, secular trends and auto-correlation were fit to pre-vaccination periods. Cases averted were calculated as the difference between observed and expected cases based on model projections.
In the first 13 years of mass vaccinations, case notifications declined rapidly with 18,900 (95%-CI: 12,000-28,600) notified cases of diphtheria averted, 5100 (95%-CI: 2200-13,500) cases of poliomyelitis, and 1800 (95%-CI: 1000-3200) cases of mumps. Vaccination of 11-year-old girls against rubella averted 13700 (95%-CI: 1400-38,300) cases, while universal rubella vaccination averted 700 (95%-CI: 80-2300) cases.
These findings show that vaccination programmes have contributed substantially to the reduction of infectious diseases in the Netherlands.
Conflict of interest and financial support: potential conflicts of interest have been reported for this article. ICMJE forms provided by the authors are available online along with the full text of this article.