Washington State experienced a pertussis epidemic from October 2011 to December 2012. There was wide variation in incidence by county. The objectives of this study were to determine how the pertussis epidemic affected infant vaccination in Washington State and whether the incidence in counties modified this effect.


We conducted an ecologic before–after study to compare the proportion of infants up to date (UTD) with a pertussis-containing vaccine at time points before (September 30, 2011), during (September 30, 2012), and after (September 30, 2013) the epidemic. Children aged 3 to 8 months enrolled in the Washington State Immunization Information System with documented county of residence were included. UTD status was determined as ≥1, ≥2, or ≥3 doses of a pertussis-containing vaccine at ages 3, 5, and 7 months, respectively. Generalized linear models with extension to the binomial family and clustered robust standard errors were used to examine differences in the proportion of UTD infants between preepidemic and either epidemic or postepidemic points. The potential modifying effect of pertussis incidence by county was examined.


We found no significant difference in statewide UTD status with a pertussis-containing vaccine between preepidemic and either epidemic (absolute difference 2.1%; 95% confidence interval, −1.6 to 5.9) or postepidemic (absolute difference 0.2%; 95% confidence interval, −4.0 to 4.5) time points. There was no significant modification by county pertussis incidence. There was wide variation in the absolute difference in UTD status across counties.


A statewide pertussis epidemic does not appear to have significantly changed the proportion of infants who were UTD with a pertussis-containing vaccine.

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