Vaccine-preventable diseases (VPD) including measles and mumps have been re-emerging in countries with sustained high vaccine coverage. For mumps, waning immunity has been recognized as a major contributor to recent outbreaks. Although unvaccinated individuals account for most cases in recent measles outbreaks, the role of immune waning remains unclear. Accumulating serological and epidemiological evidence suggests that natural immunity induced by infection may be more durable compared to vaccine-induced immunity. As the proportion of population immunity via vaccination gradually increases and boosting through natural exposures becomes rare, risk of outbreaks may increase. Mechanistic insights into the coupled immuno-epidemiological dynamics of waning and boosting will be important to understand optimal vaccination strategies to combat VPD re-emergence and achieve eradication.
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