A study has found that two doses of a rotavirus vaccine co-administered with childhood vaccines provides high protection against rotavirus gastroenteritis episodes of any severity in children.
The study, led by Professor Timo Vesikari, Vaccine Research Centre, Medical School, University of Tampere, Finland, found that the doses of a rotavirus vaccine co-administered with childhood vaccines also reduces the need for hospital treatment and medical attention related to the condition of rotavirus gastroenteritis.
In the study, 3994 children aged between six and 14 weeks were studied.
The vaccine was co-administered with the first two doses of specific childhood immunisations.
Then, the children were followed up from two-weeks post dose through the two consecutive rotavirus seasons, for an average 17 months. Stool specimens obtained during gastroenteritis episodes were tested for rotavirus.
The analysis of the study found that during the first efficacy follow-up period, average 5.7 months, 24 of 2572 infants given the vaccine had rotavirus gastroenteritis episodes of any severity, versus 94 out of 1302 given placebo, giving a vaccine efficacy of 87.1 percent.
After both doses, vaccine efficacy against any severity rotavirus gastroenteritis remained high at 78.9 percent over two consecutive rotavirus seasons; while against severe rotavirus gastroenteritis efficacy was 90.4 percent, for admission owing to rotavirus gastroenteritis it was 96.0 percent, and for rotavirus-related medical attention 83.8 percent.
Further, significant protection against severe rotavirus gastroenteritis by various circulating rotavirus types was shown.
The authors of the study said that the findings confirmed the high incidence of rotavirus gastroenteritis during the first two years of life and, hence, a need for long-term protection induced by rotavirus vaccination.
"Our findings confirm the high incidence of rotavirus gastroenteritis during the first two years of life and, hence, a need for long-term protection induced by rotavirus vaccination," The Lancet quoted the researchers, as saying.
"The human rotavirus vaccine RIX4414 showed high and sustained efficacy against severe rotavirus gastroenteritis and admission for rotavirus gastroenteritis," they said.
"Our study findings show that, if integrated into routine infant immunisation schedules, vaccination with RIX4414 could result in significant reduction not only of rotavirus disease burden but also of severe paediatric gastroenteritis during the first two years of life," they added.