Rotavirus Vaccine Scores High

Rotavirus vaccine is highly effective in preventing the disease

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Dominique Brooks, M.D

(RxWiki News) Most parents get their children all the recommended vaccines. Yet, they might wonder how effective those vaccines are. Vaccines are tested for safety and effectiveness regularly.

A recent study found the rotavirus vaccine is 91 percent effective for children 8 months and older. This effectiveness rate is true for both types of rotavirus vaccine that children might receive.

Rotavirus is a gastrointestinal disease that causes severe diarrhea. Thousands of children die from rotavirus around the world every year.

"Follow the CDC recommended immunization schedule."

The study, led by Margaret M. Cortese, MD, of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, aimed to find out the effectiveness of the rotavirus vaccine.

There are several types of rotavirus vaccines. This study was specifically designed to find out the effectiveness of the "monovalent" vaccine called RV1, which was introduced in 2008.

However, it also looked at the effectiveness of the other rotavirus vaccine, the 3-dose "pentavalent" vaccine RV5.

The researchers gathered data on all children who went to one of five hospitals in Georgia and Connecticut with severe diarrhea lasting no more than 10 days.

The children were all born after the RV1 vaccine had been introduced (2008).

The researchers tested their stools for rotavirus and looked at their immunization records.

The researcher then compared the vaccination history of the children who had rotavirus to those who did not have rotavirus.

There were 165 children who had rotavirus in their stool and 428 who tested negative for it.

When the researchers compared these groups, they found the RV1 rotavirus vaccine was 91 percent effective for children 8 months and older.

The RV5 was 92 percent effective based on comparisons between those two groups.

Then the researchers compared the children who had rotavirus to another group of children who were not sick at all. Their data was pulled from the state electronic immunization information system, which stores data on children's vaccination history.

In this comparison, the RV1 rotavirus vaccine effectiveness was also found to be 91 percent for children aged 1 to 2 years old.

"RV1 and RV5 were both highly effective against severe rotavirus disease," the researchers wrote.

The study was published June 17 in the journal Pediatrics. The research was funded by the CDC Emerging Infections Program.

One author also received general grant funds from the National Center for Advancing Translations Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Clinical Research and Education Career Development Program.

One author gave a lecture for Merck in 2011, and no other potential conflicts of interest were reported for the other authors.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
June 15, 2013
Last Updated:
August 5, 2013