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BACKGROUND: Universal immunisation is the cornerstone of preventive medicine for children, The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) vaccine administered at 6, 10 and 14 weeks of age as part of routine immunisation. However, globally, more than 17 unique DTP-containing vaccine schedules are in use. New vaccines for other diseases continue to be introduced into the infant immunisation schedule, resulting in an increasingly crowded schedule. The OptImms trial will assess whether antibody titres against pertussis and other antigens in childhood can be maintained whilst adjusting the current Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) schedule to provide space for the introduction of new vaccines. METHODS: The OptImms studies are two randomised, five-arm, non-inferiority clinical trials in Nepal and Uganda. Infants aged 6 weeks will be randomised to one of five primary vaccination schedules based on age at first DTwP-vaccination (6 versus 8 weeks of age), number of doses in the DTwP priming series (two versus three), and spacing of priming series vaccinations (4 versus 8 weeks). Additionally, participants will be randomised to receive their DTwP booster at 9 or 12 months of age. A further sub-study will compare the co-administration of typhoid vaccine with other routine vaccines at one year of age. The primary outcome is anti-pertussis toxin IgG antibodies measured at the time of the booster dose. Secondary outcomes include antibodies against other vaccine antigens in the primary schedule and their safety. DISCUSSION: These data will provide key data to inform policy decisions on streamlining vaccination schedules in childhood. TRIAL REGISTRATIONS: ISRCTN12240140 (Nepa1, 7th January 2021) and ISRCTN6036654 (Uganda, 17th February 2021).

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EPI, Global child health, Immunisation, Pertussis, Vaccination schedules, Child, Humans, Infant, Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis Vaccine, Immunization Schedule, Vaccination, Nepal, Policy, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic