Objective: The aim of this study was to elucidate vaccine effectiveness (VE) during varicella outbreaks in schools and nurseries in Japan. Methods: An outbreak was defined as emergence of three or more cases of varicella within 21 days at the same institute. Clinical information such as varicella vaccination status, and history of varicella was collected. If a child had varicella during the outbreak, information about absences, fever, and disease severity was collected. Results: From September 2018 to January 2020, four outbreaks were reported around our institute from three elementary schools and one nursery. A total of 676 children were analyzed in this study. Seventy-six children (11.2%) were unvaccinated, 309 (45.7%) had received one dose of vaccine, and 291 (43.0%) had received two doses. Most children in Pre-K2 (1–2 years old) to Pre-K6 (5–6 years old), who were the targets of the national immunization schedule, received two doses. Meanwhile, most children older than third grade received single dose. Seventy-five children (11.1%) had varicella. Varicella prevalence from Pre-K5 to the third grade was greater than 10%. The adjusted VEs of single- and two-dose of varicella vaccine were 57.8% and 89.0%. The number of days absent was significantly longer in unvaccinated children than single-dose recipients (P = 0.0145). Unvaccinated children had significantly more severe skin eruptions than single-dose recipients (P = 0.0046) and two-dose recipients (P = 0.0258). Conclusions: Although VEs of single-dose varicella vaccination during outbreaks was not high, the VE of two-dose vaccination was similar to that in a previously reported case-control study.
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