RotaFlash archives 2011
PATH’s RotaFlash has been produced since 2006. Here you can find archives of issues from 2011; earlier issues are available upon request.
A new study in the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal revealed that rotavirus remains a major killer of children under five years of age worldwide, taking the lives of an estimated 453,000 children in 2008—more than 1,200 each day. Approximately 95% of rotavirus deaths occur in developing countries of Africa and Asia that are eligible for GAVI assistance to introduce rotavirus vaccines.
The GAVI Alliance approved rotavirus vaccine funding for 16 new countries, including 12 in Africa, the continent with a staggering burden of rotavirus disease and where vaccines are desperately needed to prevent severe rotavirus diarrhea and save children’s lives.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a study entitled Rotavirus Vaccine and Health Care Utilization for Diarrhea in US Children, showing that 65,000 diarrhea-related hospitalizations of US children under five years of age were averted in the three years following the introduction of rotavirus vaccine in the US, resulting in an incredible $278 million saved in associated treatment costs.
Following an examination of data from 2000 to 2008, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published the unexpected finding that vaccinating infants against rotavirus appears to prevent severe disease in older children and adults in the US (“herd immunity”). This indirect protection averted 10,000 hospitalizations in 2008 of 5-24 year olds, saving $40 million in healthcare costs in addition to the $160 million saved by vaccinating children under five years of age.
July 17, 2011 marks a milestone in global health—the first nationwide introduction of rotavirus vaccine in a GAVI-eligible African country. Reflecting on the events in Khartoum, Sudan, Dr. Amani Abdelmoniem Mustafa, EPI Manager in Sudan said: “We finally have the vaccine in our hands; it is a great and exciting day in our lives and we are happy that this is a reality now.”
Multinational and emerging marketing manufacturers including GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, and Bharat Biotech offered substantial price reductions on rotavirus vaccines to the GAVI Alliance, which will maximize GAVI’s ability to provide life-saving vaccines to children in the world’s poorest countries.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated estimates of global rotavirus disease burden, showing that rotavirus is still a significant global public health problem. Data collected by WHO in 2009 from 43 countries shows a decline in diarrhea hospitalizations in those countries that have introduced them into their national immunization programs, adding to the growing evidence base for the power of rotavirus vaccines to prevent severe diarrhea.
Jan 20, 2011 | Special issue of The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal spotlights impact of rotavirus vaccines on children’s health around the world | Online (unavailable) | PDF
A special supplement to the January 2011 edition of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal (PIDJ) shows the dramatic effect that rotavirus vaccines have on children’s health following their introduction in national immunization programs in both developed and developing countries. Countries experienced striking and swift reductions in the number of young children hospitalized due to acute diarrhea caused by rotavirus.