Estimating the basic reproductive number of varicella in South Korea incorporating social contact patterns and seroprevalence

Taeyong Lee, Jiyeon Suh, Jae Ki Choi, Jeehyun Lee, Sun Hee Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Varicella, which is caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV), is a common infectious disease affecting children. Varicella vaccines have been used for decades; however, vaccination policies vary across countries because of differences in VZV epidemiology. The basic reproductive number (Formula presented.) a transmissibility measure parameter, also differs from country to country. In this study (Formula presented.) for varicella was estimated in South Korea using the contact rate matrix derived from averaged POLYMOD contact data, the Korean population, and proportionality factor fitted to the Korean VZV seroprevalence (Formula presented.) for varicella in South Korea was estimated to be 5.67 (95% CI: 5.33, 6.33). Therefore, to reach the herd immunity threshold, the critical vaccine coverage should be greater than 82.4% with a perfect vaccine, or the primary vaccine failure proportion should be less than 17.6% with 100% coverage. Because of the relatively low seroconversion rate and rapidly waning immunity after one-dose vaccination in South Korea, the herd immunity threshold is difficult to attain with only a one-dose vaccine. Two doses of vaccination may be necessary to effectively interrupt varicella transmission and maintain herd immunity in South Korea. The study results can help guide the decision-making on an effective varicella vaccination policy in South Korea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2488-2493
Number of pages6
JournalHuman Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology


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