Five Year Follow Up of Extremely Low Gestational Age Infants after Timely or Delayed Administration of Routine Vaccinations

Egbert Herting, Mats Ingmar Fortmann, Marie-Theres Dammann, Alexander Humberg, Bastian Siller, Guido Stichtenoth, Geraldine Engels, Janina Marißen, Kirstin Barbara Faust, Kathrin Hanke, Sybelle Goedicke-Fritz, Christoph Derouet, Sascha Meyer, Regine Stutz, Elisabeth Kaiser, Wolfgang Göpel, Christoph Härtel, Michael Zemlin, On Behalf Of The German Neonatal Network Gnn And Primal Consortium


This study is aimed at detecting the rate of untimely immunization in a large cohort of extremely low gestational age neonates (ELGANs) of the German Neonatal Network (GNN) and at addressing risk factors for delayed vaccination and associated long-term consequences. We performed an observational study of the GNN between 1st January 2010 and 31st December 2019. The immunization status for the hexavalent and pneumococcal immunization was evaluated in n = 8401 preterm infants <29 weeks of gestation. Univariate analysis and logistic/linear regression models were used to identify risk factors for vaccination delay and outcomes at a 5-year follow-up. In our cohort n = 824 (9.8%) ELGANs did not receive a timely first immunization with the hexavalent and pneumococcal vaccine. Risk factors for delayed vaccination were SGA status (18.1% vs. 13.5%; OR 1.3; 95% CI: 1.1-1.7), impaired growth and surrogates for complicated clinical courses (i.e., need for inotropes, necrotizing enterocolitis). At 5 years of age, timely immunized children had a lower risk of bronchitis (episodes within last year: 27.3% vs. 37.7%; OR 0.60, 95% CI: 0.42-0.86) but spirometry measures were unaffected. In conclusion, a significant proportion of ELGANs are untimely immunized, specifically those with increased vulnerability, even though they might particularly benefit from the immune-promoting effects of a timely vaccination.
Original languageEnglish
JournalVaccines (Basel)
Publication statusPublished - 12.05.2021


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