Background: Studies from low-income countries indicate that co-administration of inactivated diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) vaccine and live attenuated measles vaccine (MV) is associated with increased mortality compared with receiving MV only. Pentavalent (DTP-H. Influenza type B-Hepatitis B) vaccine is replacing DTP in many low-income countries and yellow fever vaccine (YF) has been introduced to be given together with MV. Pentavalent and YF vaccines were introduced in Guinea-Bissau in 2008. We investigated whether co-administration of pentavalent vaccine with MV and yellow fever vaccine has similar negative effects.
Methods: In 2007-2011, we conducted a randomised placebo-controlled trial of vitamin A at routine vaccination contacts among children aged 6-23 months in urban and rural Guinea-Bissau. In the present study, we included 2331 children randomised to placebo who received live vaccines only (MV or MV+YF) or a combination of live and inactivated vaccines (MV+DTP or MV+YF+pentavalent). Mortality was compared in Cox proportional hazards models stratified for urban/rural enrolment adjusted for age and unevenly distributed baseline factors.
Results: While DTP was still used 685 children received MV only and 358 MV+DTP; following the change in programme, 940 received MV+YF only and 348 MV+YF+pentavalent. During 6 months of follow-up, the adjusted mortality rate ratio (MRR) for co-administered live and inactivated vaccines compared with live vaccines only was 3.24 (1.20-8.73). For MV+YF+pentavalent compared with MV+YF only, the adjusted MRR was 7.73 (1.79-33.4).
Conclusion: In line with previous studies of DTP, the present results indicate that pentavalent vaccine co-administered with MV and YF is associated with increased mortality.
Keywords: BCG; BHP; Bacillus Calmette–Guérin vaccine; Bandim Health Project; Child mortality; DTP; Diphtheria–tetanus–pertussis vaccine; EPI; Expanded Programme on Immunisations; HDSS; MRR; MV; Measles vaccine; OPV; Pentavalent vaccine; YF; Yellow fever vaccine; diphtheria–tetanus–pertussis vaccine; health and demographic surveillance system; measles vaccine; mortality rate ratio; oral polio vaccine; yellow fever vaccine.
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