New Rotavirus Vaccine Reduces Cases of Infant Diarrhea

Moderately increased risk of intussusception following RV1 vaccination

WEDNESDAY, June 15 (HealthDay News) -- In Mexico and Brazil, use of the new monovalent rotavirus vaccine (RV1) is associated with a short-term risk of intussusception in vaccinated infants but prevents a far higher number of hospitalizations and deaths from diarrhea, according to a study published in the June 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Manish M. Patel, M.D., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues examined the association of RV1 with intussusception after routine immunization of infants. Observation at 69 hospitals (16 in Mexico and 53 in Brazil) identified 615 infants with intussusceptions (285 in Mexico and 330 in Brazil), who were enrolled together with 2,050 age-matched infants as controls.

The investigators found that, in Mexico, there was an increased risk of intussusception one to seven days after infants were given the first dose of RV1. Among infants in Brazil, there was no significant risk after the first dose, but after the second dose, the risk increased by a factor of 1.9 to 2.6, one to seven days after the second dose. A total of 96 annual extra cases of intussusception in Mexico and Brazil (approximately one per 51,000 infants and one per 68,000 infants, respectively), and five deaths from intussusception were ascribed to RV1. Conversely, approximately 80,000 hospitalizations and 1,300 deaths from diarrhea each year were prevented by RV1 in Mexico and Brazil.

"The absolute number of deaths and hospitalizations averted because of vaccination far exceeded the number of intussusception cases that may have been associated with vaccination," the authors write.

The editorial author disclosed financial relationships with the pharmaceutical industry.

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