Publications & Reports

Effect of COVID-19 restrictions and border closures on vaccine preventable diseases in Victoria, Australia, 2020-2021.

Bhatt P, Strachan J, Easton M, Franklin L, Drewett G
School of Medicine, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia.


Background: In 2020, Victoria introduced multiple interventions aimed at containing the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We examine the effect of these restrictions on other vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs). Methods: We analysed the mandatory reporting data, notified to the Victorian Department of Health, for VPDs from January 2015 to December 2021. Results: Reductions in notifications were seen for most notifiable VPDs. A precipitous decline in influenza and measles notifications was recorded in April 2020, which was sustained for both diseases throughout 2020-2021. Notifications for chickenpox, invasive meningococcal disease, invasive pneumococcal disease, and pertussis were reduced by greater than 50% from the 2015-2019 average. No notified cases of diphtheria, poliomyelitis, or rubella were reported in 2020-2021. Conclusion: Restrictions placed to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were associated with significant reductions in other VPDs, which were sustained into 2021. Nevertheless, it is important that high levels of population vaccine coverage continue, to prevent a rebound increase in VPDs as restrictions are eased, and to maximise protection against VPDs for all Australians.

Link to publisher’s web site


  • Journal: Communicable Diseases Intelligence
  • Published: 19/05/2022
  • Volume: 46
  • Pagination: 1-7