The United States continues to see dividends from efforts to vaccinate young children against rotavirus infection, with fewer children hospitalized for diarrheal illness through 2011, according to an analysis published in the journal Pediatrics today...
The rate of hospitalization for rotavirus among those vaccinated was reduced by 92% (for the pentavalent vaccine) and 96% (for the monovalent version) compared with hospitalization rates for rotavirus among unvaccinated children.
Even unvaccinated children experienced decreased rates of rotavirus hospitalization after vaccination began, with a 50% reduction in 2007-2008, a 77% reduction in 2009-2010, and a 25% reduction in 2010-2011. Presumably, higher vaccination rates reduced the amount of rotavirus circulating in the population, protecting even those who were unvaccinated.
The authors estimate that the rotavirus vaccination prevented 176,587 US children from being hospitalized for rotavirus between July 2007 and June 2011. Additionally, they estimated 242,335 fewer emergency department visits and about 1.1 million fewer outpatient visits for diarrheal illness during this period. About $924 million in health costs were saved as a result of these reductions, according to the authors’ calculations.
Nothing more natural than having your kid hospitalized for a vaccine preventable illness, right Vashon Island?