Assessing the impacts of the first year of rotavirus vaccination in the United Kingdom

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The United Kingdom (UK) added rotavirus (RV) vaccine (Rotarix GlaxoSmithKline) to the national vaccine schedule in July 2013. During the 2012–2014 rotavirus seasons, children presenting to the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children Emergency Department with gastroenteritis symptoms had stool virology analysis (real-time PCR) and clinical outcome recorded. Nosocomial cases were identified as patients with non-gastroenteritis diagnosis testing positive for rotavirus > 48h after admission. In comparison to average pre-vaccine seasons, in the first year after vaccine introduction there were 48% fewer attendances diagnosed with gastroenteritis, 53% reduction in gastroenteritis admissions and a total saving of 330 bed-days occupancy. There was an overall reduction in number of rotavirus-positive stool samples with 94% reduction in children aged under one year and a 65% reduction in those too old to have been vaccinated. In the first year after the introduction of universal vaccination against rotavirus we observed a profound reduction in gastroenteritis presentations and admissions with a substantial possible herd effect seen in older children. Extrapolating these findings to the UK population we estimate secondary healthcare savings in the first year of ca £7.5 (€10.5) million. Ongoing surveillance will be required to determine the long-term impact of the RV immunisation programme.




Marlow, R., Muir, P., Vipond, B., Lyttle, M., Trotter, C., & Finn, A. (2015). Assessing the impacts of the first year of rotavirus vaccination in the United Kingdom. Eurosurveillance, 20(48).

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