More rotavirus vaccine use leads to less diarrhea-associated healthcare

September 1, 2014

As rotavirus vaccine coverage increased from 2009 to 2011, diarrhea-associated healthcare utilization and costs continued the decline that began after the pentavalent rotavirus vaccine (RV5) and the monovalent vaccine (RV1) joined the recommended vaccine list in 2006 and 2008, respectively.

 

As rotavirus vaccine coverage increased from 2009 to 2011, diarrhea-associated healthcare utilization and costs continued the decline that began after the pentavalent rotavirus vaccine (RV5) and the monovalent vaccine (RV1) joined the recommended vaccine list in 2006 and 2008, respectively. An analysis of claims data for children aged younger than 5 years also showed that both vaccines provide high protection against rotavirus hospitalizations, with RV5 conferring durable protection through the fourth year of life.

By the end of 2010, RV5 and RV1 coverage rates reached 58% and 5%, respectively, among those aged younger than 5 years. In this age group, annual rates of diarrhea-associated hospitalization, emergency department (ED) visits, and outpatient visits fell significantly during each of the 4 postvaccine seasons from 2007 through 2011, except for ED and outpatient visits during the 2008-2009 season. In 2010-2011, the rate of rotavirus-related hospitalizations fell by 92% among RV5 recipients and 96% among RV1 recipients, compared with unvaccinated children.

Nonetheless, compared with prevaccine rates in 2001-2006, rotavirus-related hospitalization rates among unvaccinated children decreased by 50% in 2007-2008, 77% in 2009-2010, and 25% in 2010-2011 (Leshem E, et al. Pediatrics. 2014;134[1]:15-23).

N Eng J Med. 2014;370[6]:503-512; N Engl J Med. 2014;370[6]:513-519

MS FREEDMAN is a freelance medical editor and writer in New Jersey. DR BURKE, section editor for Journal Club, is chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at Saint Agnes Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland. The editors have nothing to disclose in regard to affiliations with or financial interests in any organizations that may have an interest in any part of this article.