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Brussels, Belgium

Lefevere E.,University of Antwerp | Theeten H.,University of Antwerp | Hens N.,Hasselt University | Hens N.,University of Antwerp | And 4 more authors.

School-based, free HPV vaccination for girls in the first year of secondary school was introduced in Flanders (Belgium) in 2010. Before that, non school-based, co-payment vaccination for girls aged 12-18 was in place. We compared vaccination coverage, age-specific coverage and socio-economic inequalities in coverage - 3 important parameters contributing to the effectiveness of the vaccination programs - under both vaccination systems.We used retrospective administrative data from different sources. Our sample consisted of all female members of the National Alliance of Christian Mutualities born in 1995, 1996, 1998 or 1999 (N= 66,664). For each vaccination system we described the cumulative proportion HPV vaccination initiation and completion over time. We used life table analysis to calculate age-specific rates of HPV vaccination initiation and completion. Analyses were done separately for higher income and low income groups.Under non school-based, co-payment vaccination the proportions HPV vaccination initiation and completion slowly rose over time. By age 17, the proportion HPV vaccination initiation/completion was 0.75 (95% CI 0.74-076)/0.66 (95% CI 0.65-0.67). The median age at vaccination initiation/completion was 14.4 years (95% CI 14.4-14.5)/15.4 years (95% CI 15.3-15.4). Socio-economic inequalities in coverage widened over time and with age. Under school-based, free vaccination rates of HPV vaccination initiation were substantially higher. By age 14,the proportion HPV vaccination initiation/completion was 0.90 (95% CI 0.90-0.90)/0.87 (95% CI 0.87-0.88). The median age at vaccination initiation/completion was 12.7 years (95% CI 12.7-12.7)/13.3 years (95% CI 13.3-13.3). Socio-economic inequalities in coverage and in age-specific coverage were substantially smaller. © 2015. Source

Ehsan Md.A.,Ghent University | Casaert S.,Ghent University | Levecke B.,Ghent University | Van Rooy L.,Agency for Care and Health | And 10 more authors.
Journal of Water and Health

The objective of this study was to investigate the presence of Cryptosporidium and Giardia in different recreational water bodies in Belgium and to estimate the infection risk associated with swimming and other recreational activities. Cryptosporidium oocysts and/or Giardia cysts were detected in three out of 37 swimming pools, seven out of 10 recreational lakes, two out of seven splash parks and four out of 16 water fountains. In the swimming pools no infection risk for Cryptosporidium could be calculated, since oocysts were only detected in filter backwash water. The risk of Giardia infection in the swimming pools varied from 1.13 × 10-6 to 2.49 ×10-6 per swim per person. In recreational lakes, the infection risk varied from 2.79 × 10-5 to 5.74 × 10-5 per swim per person for Cryptosporidium and from 7.04 × 10-5 to 1.46 × 10-4 for Giardia. For other outdoor water recreation activities the estimated infection risk was 5.71 × 10-6 for Cryptosporidium and 1.47 × 10-5 for Giardia. However, most positive samples in the recreational lakes belonged to species/genotypes that are either animal-specific or predominantly found in animals. No Cryptosporidium was found in splash parks and water fountains, but the presence of Giardia cysts suggests a risk for human infection. The infection risk of Giardia infection during a 3.5-minute visit to a splash park for children equalled 1.68 ×10-4. © IWA Publishing 2015. Source

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