Rotavirus Vaccine Linked to Consistent Effect in Children

Drop in pediatric hospitalizations in 2007 to 2008 season was sustained but smaller in next season

THURSDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The drop in pediatric hospitalizations linked to diarrhea and rotavirus that was seen in the 2007 to 2008 season, compared to prevaccine seasons, was sustained but smaller in the 2008 to 2009 season, according to research published online Dec. 20 in Pediatrics.

Catherine Yen, M.D., M.P.H., of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed data from 62 pediatric hospitals for 2003 to 2009, which encompassed three rotavirus seasons before the 2006 introduction of a vaccine and two seasons after its introduction.

The authors found that, compared to the median number of hospitalizations in children under age 5 from 2003 to 2006, all-cause diarrhea-related hospitalizations fell by 50 percent in 2007 to 2008 and by 29 percent in 2008 to 2009. In 2007 to 2008, reductions were seen in all age groups, including vaccine-ineligible children aged 2 and older. These reductions decreased in magnitude during the 2008 to 2009 season. Compared to the median from 2003 to 2006, rotavirus-coded hospitalizations fell by 83 percent in 2007 to 2008 and by 66 percent in 2008 to 2009.

"Given the variability in trends over the two postvaccine seasons according to age group and region, continued surveillance is required to ascertain fully the impact of rotavirus vaccine on the burden of diarrheal disease," the authors conclude.

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