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Hospitalizations for rotavirus down by 86%.

PHILADELPHIA -- The rotavirus vaccine introduced in early 2006 worked as intended, cutting the U.S. rate of rotavirus-associated diarrhea requiring hospitalization in children younger than 2 years during July 2007-June 2008 by 86%, compared with rates during 2000-2006, according to an analysis of a large U.S. private insurance database.

"The first rotavirus season post vaccine introduction showed a substantial decline, to a level below the lowest rate of prior years," Dr. Jennifer E. Cortes said in an interview while presenting a poster at the annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

"The reduction was lower than in the clinical trials ... but it was still effective in the real world," said Dr. Cortes, an epidemic intelligence service officer in the division of viral diseases of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The data also showed a significant impact of rotavirus vaccination on the incidence of all diarrhea that led to hospitalization in children younger than 2 years during July 2007-June 2008, cutting this rate by 39%, compared with the average during 2000-2006.

Experience using the RotaTeq formulation since its U.S. introduction confirms its safety, with no unexpected reports of vaccine-associated adverse effects and no link with excess cases of intussusception, said Dr. Cortes, who had no financial relationships to disclose.

She and her associates analyzed records for about 2 million children younger than 5 years for the period 2007-2008.

The data showed that following RotaTeq's U.S. introduction in 2006, its use in children younger than 1 year gradually rose, reaching 63% coverage of children 11 months or younger by the end of December 2007, Dr. Cortes said.

With vaccine coverage at 63% during the midpoint of the July 2007-June 2008 rotavirus season studied, the 86% vaccine effectiveness rate seen was "greater than expected," she reported. The data also showed that hospitalization for rotavirus-associated diarrhea was reduced in older children, 2-4 years old, who never received rotavirus vaccination. These findings suggest a herd effect, Dr. Cortes said.

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Author:Zoler, Mitchel L.
Publication:Family Practice News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2009
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