A new study published in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society provides additional evidence for the impact of the rotavirus vaccine, finding that more than 380,000 children avoided hospitalization for diarrhea from 2008 to 2013 due to vaccination. Preventive care resulted in an estimated $1.2 billion savings in direct medical costs.
Researchers analyzed data from community and academic hospitals in 26 states to estimate the nationwide impact of the vaccine. The periods before and after vaccination licensure, which occurred in 2006, were compared, excluding the first year when vaccination rates were low. Diarrhea hospitalizations dropped from 55 percent to 31 percent from 2008 to 2013, with greater reductions in the later years.
“Our findings confirm the sustained impact and effectiveness of the rotavirus vaccine program,” said author Eyal Leshem, MD, formerly of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at the time of the study and currently an affiliate of the Sackler Faculty of Medicine at Tel-Aviv University in Israel.
The estimated $1.2 billion saved nationwide during the 2008-2013 period does not account for other costs saved, such as those associated with emergency room visits.
Researchers who presented at this year’s World Indigenous People’s Conference in Anchorage, Alaska announced that the state vaccination program has virtually eradicated the Hepatitis A virus.
In 1995, Alaska introduced a universal Hepatitis A vaccination program for children ages 2-14 and the vaccine became a requirement for school entry in 2001. By 2006, every child in Alaska between the ages of 1 to 19 was included in the universal vaccination program.
Before introducing the Hepatitis A vaccine, Alaska struggled with epidemics every 10-15 years. Between 1995 and 2007, hepatitis A incidence rates fell by 98 percent. From 2008-2016, only 23 cases were reported in Alaska.
“Dramatic declines in the incidence of hepatitis A occurred after HAV vaccine was recommended as a routine childhood vaccine and after it was required for school entry. Prior to routine vaccination, most the reported HAV cases were associated with outbreaks occurring within Alaska. Since 2008 however, 88% of reported hepatitis A cases have been imported, many of which were acquired during travel outside of the United States,” the authors wrote, including Stephanie Massay, Epidemiology Specialist with the Alaska Division of Public Health.
The CDC recommends that “the best way to prevent Hepatitis A is through vaccination with the Hepatitis A vaccine. Vaccination is recommended for all children, for travelers to certain countries, and for people at high risk for infection with the virus.”
Regan et. al Clinical Infectious Diseases
Mothers who received seasonal TIV during pregnancy were significantly less likely to experience stillbirth compared with unvaccinated mothers. These results support the safety of seasonal influenza immunization during pregnancy and suggest a protective effect.
Oboho et al. The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Pregnant women are at higher risk for serious illness and complications, including death, from influenza. For expectant mothers hospitalized with flu, early treatment with the influenza antiviral drug oseltamivir may shorten their time in the hospital, especially in severe cases, suggests a study published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases. The findings also underscore the importance of flu vaccination for this risk group.