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Study finds rotavirus vaccine greatly reduces hospitalizations for acute gastroenteritis in children
Date:5/13/2010

ritis hospitalizations were prevented during the 2008 rotavirus season because of vaccination. Hospitalization rates during this season were substantially diminished with rates one-half to two-thirds lower at peak activity compared to previous seasons.

The researchers noted that the observed declines in hospitalizations exceeded their estimates and also occurred among age groups that were too young or too old to receive the vaccine, suggesting that these children may have been protected by the "herd immunity" caused by their peers being vaccinated.

In an accompanying editorial, Geoffrey A. Weinberg, MD, and Peter G. Szilagyi, MD, MPH, of the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry in New York, highlighted the importance of such vaccine effectiveness studies, which provide a real-world view that can improve the planning of public health initiatives. An advantage of the study design is its analysis of how well vaccination works within a population, they wrote.

"These encouraging findings are important for emphasizing the benefits and increasing the acceptance of rotavirus vaccination in the United States and will also help other countries assess the value of rotavirus vaccines for their children," the researchers said. In light of the study's results, "it remains essential to continue monitoring acute gastroenteritis hospitalization rates during subsequent rotavirus seasons to fully understand and document the impact of vaccination as the program matures in this country."


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Contact: John Heys
jheys@idsociety.org
703-299-0412
Infectious Diseases Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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