Children in the United States who received rotavirus vaccination (Rotarix, GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals [RV1]) were found to have a lower risk for first infection with rotavirus, fewer rotavirus-related and diarrhea-related clinic visits, and lower costs for first rotavirus or first diarrhea episode compared with unvaccinated children, according to a recent study published in Vaccine.

In this observational study, children born between 2007 and 2011 (n=225,587) from a commercial insurance database were categorized as completely vaccinated (2 doses of RV1; n=34,928), incompletely vaccinated (1 dose of RV1; n=8390), or unvaccinated (no vaccine or RotaTeq, Merck & Co, Inc [RV5]; n=182,269).

Rates of rotavirus-related healthcare encounters and costs were monitored with insurance claim information.

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Compared with unvaccinated children, the incidence of first rotavirus episode was lower for the complete vaccination group (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 0.17; 95% CI, 0.09-0.30) and the incomplete vaccination group (IRR, 0.19; 95% CI, 0.06-0.58).

Similarly, fully vaccinated children had fewer rotavirus-related inpatient visits (IRR, 0.07; 95% CI, 0.02-0.21), outpatient visits (IRR, 0.25; 95% CI, 0.11-0.54), and emergency room visits (IRR, 0.09; 95% CI, 0.03-0.32).

The researchers also found that the complete vaccination and incomplete vaccination groups had significantly lower resource use for rotavirus-related inpatient visits and emergency room visits compared with unvaccinated children.

Only the complete vaccination group was significantly different from the unvaccinated group for outpatient visits. For diarrhea-related visits, children with complete vaccination had lower rates of inpatient and emergency room visits; children with incomplete vaccination only had lower rates of emergency room visits.

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For completely vaccinated children, the adjusted mean cost for the first rotavirus episode per 1000 persons was $11,511 less than unvaccinated children. Similarly, the adjusted mean cost for the first diarrhea episode per 1000 persons was $46,772 less than completely vaccinated children.

“Given the effectiveness of RV1 vaccination and [rotavirus] vaccination in general, efforts should focus on improving [rotavirus] vaccination rates, which lag behind most pediatric vaccination rates and continue to fall below the Healthy People 2020 target of 80%,” the authors concluded.


Krishnarajah G, Kageleiry A, Korves C, Lefebvre P, Duh MS. Public health impact of Rotarix vaccination among commercially insured children in the United States. Vaccine. 2017;35(37):5065-5072.