VoICE Immunization Evidence: Vaccines Alleviate Health System Pressure
Vaccines alleviate health systems pressure
In a study of nearly 40,000 recipients of PCV7 and control subjects in northern California, there was a 5.4% reduction in the number of antibiotic prescriptions and a 12.6% reduction in the use of “second-line antibiotics” among children who received the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. Between the time the first dose was administered and the age of 3.5 years, use of the vaccine prevented 35 antibiotic prescriptions per 100 fully vaccinated children.
Immunization can decrease hospital admissions, thus alleviating pressure on overburdened health systems.
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.
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.
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.