VoICE Immunization Evidence: Vaccines Alleviate Health System Pressure

Key Idea

Two years after rotavirus vaccine introduction in Rwanda, the country saw nearly 400 fewer hospital admissions for diarrhea among young children at 24 district hospitals.

Ngabo, F., Tate, J.E., Gatera, M., et al 2016. Effect of pentavalent rotavirus vaccine introduction on hospital admissions for diarrhea and rotavirus in children in Rwanda: a time-series analysis. Lancet Global Health. 4:e129-36.

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A literature review of impact evaluations from multiple countries following introduction of rotavirus vaccine showed a 32% median reduction in hospitalizations due to acute gastroenteritis (AGE) in children <1 year of age and a 38% median reduction in children <5 years. Laboratory confirmed rotavirus hospitalizations fell by 80% and 67% in children <1 and <5 years, respectively, after introduction of rotavirus vaccine. In high mortality setting, AGE decreased by 46% in children <5 years.

Burnett, E., Jonesteller, C. L., Tate, J. E., et al. 2017. Global impact of rotavirus vaccination on childhood hospitalizations and mortality from diarrhea.. The Journal of Infectious Diseases. 215(11), 1666-1672..

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In a Bangladeshi study, pneumonia and acute diarrhea were the first and third most common reasons for childhood hospital admission with over half (54%) of the acute diarrhea admissions caused by rotavirus. One in four children taken to this large pediatric hospital were refused admission because all beds were occupied. Vaccination could have prevented children with rotavirus from requiring essential hospital resources when one in four children refused admission had symptoms of pneumonia.

Saha, S., Santosham, M., Hussain, M. et al. 2018. Rotavirus Vaccine will Improve Child Survival by More than Just Preventing Diarrhea: Evidence from Bangladesh. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 98(2).

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