PAEDS is a network of clinicians and public health researchers in seven Australian tertiary paediatric hospitals which also works with several associate investigators, collaborators and contributors. PAEDS is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health, with contributions from the state health departments of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory. Funding from NHMRC grants also supplements certain surveillance activities. PAEDS is also under the oversight of the PAEDS Reference Group, composed of representatives from all participating Departments of Health and independent expert groups.
The conditions included in PAEDS are acute flaccid paralysis, intussusception, varicella and herpes zoster, pertussis, acute childhood encephalitis, influenza, invasive group A streptococcus, invasive meningococcal disease, Kawasaki disease and Gram-negative blood stream infections.
This study used varicella cases identified through the PAEDS sentinel network over a 6-year period and age-matched control children from the AIR to estimate 1-dose vaccine effectiveness. There were 78 hospitalised varicella cases during the study period, all of whom were eligible for funded varicella vaccination.
Although Australia’s program has impacted on the burden of varicella disease, single dose vaccine effectiveness against varicella hospitalisation is only moderate. Greater reductions in varicella disease could potentially be achieved by incorporation of a second vaccine dose into the program to minimise breakthrough disease and interrupt virus circulation.