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Surveillance for vaccine-preventable diseases

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Vaccine coverage is an intermediate variable (vaccination) which we assume has a health effect if provided to enough members of the population. It does not really measure an outcome variable. If enough individuals in the population are protected against infection, there should be a parallel decline in the incidence of vaccine-preventable diseases.

As discussed in the module on surveillance, measles must be included in the surveillance system as soon as the system is implemented. As a result, the communicable disease surveillance system should be collecting the data necessary to calculate the incidence of measles in the emergency-affected population. Data analysis should be done frequently, as often as daily in acute emergencies, to monitor the incidence of measles in children less than 5 years of age and children and adults 5 years of age and older.

With stabilization, other vaccine-preventable diseases may be added to the surveillance form. However, during the acute emergency, their potential for causing large outbreaks with substantial excess mortality is not nearly as high as that of measles.