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Waning infant pertussis during COVID-19 pandemic
  1. Kathy Falkenstein-Hagander1,
  2. Emma Appelqvist2,
  3. Ann-Sofie Frisk Cavefors3,
  4. Henrik Källberg1,
  5. Lennart Jan Nilsson4,
  6. Sven-Arne Silfverdal5,
  7. Jann Storsaeter1,
  8. Bernice Aronsson1
  1. 1 Public Health Agency of Sweden, Solna, Sweden
  2. 2 Department of Public Health Analysis and Data Management, Public Health Agency of Sweden, Solna, Sweden
  3. 3 Central Child Health Services Unit, Gothenburg, Sweden
  4. 4 Allergy Center, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Linkoping University, Linkoping, Sweden
  5. 5 Unit of Pediatrics, Department of Clinical Sciences/Paediatrics, Sven-Arne Silfverdal, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kathy Falkenstein-Hagander, Public Health Agency of Sweden, Solna 171 65, Stockholm, Sweden; kathy.falkenstein-hagander{at}


Measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 have been associated with reduction in other respiratory infections. Results of a national Swedish cohort study of infant pertussis during April 2020–September 2021 were compared with those during January 2014–March 2020. The number of pertussis cases decreased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, from an average of 21 infant cases per quarter of a year before the pandemic to an average of 1 case per quarter during the pandemic. Swedish strategies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 seem to have had an impact on pertussis incidence in infants.

  • COVID-19
  • epidemiology
  • infectious disease medicine
  • paediatrics
  • child health

Data availability statement

Data are available in a public, open access repository.

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Data availability statement

Data are available in a public, open access repository.

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  • Contributors KF-H took the lead in writing the manuscript and coordinated the project. EA contributed to data analysis and manuscript revisions. HK performed the data analysis. A-SFC, LJN and S-AS contributed to analysis of the results and to writing of the manuscript. JS contributed to design of the research report, data control and manuscript revisions. BA conceived of the presented report and directed the project. All authors discussed the results and contributed to the final manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests JS reports having been a member of the safety monitoring committee organised by ILIAD, USA in 'A phase 2b multicenter placebo-controlled – randomized study of 3P2EI intranasal pertussis vaccine in healthy adults' in 2020. He did not receive payment.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.