Early evidence for direct and indirect effects of the infant rotavirus vaccine program in Queensland
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Objective: To assess the impact of introducing a publicly funded infant rotavirus vaccination program on disease notifications and on laboratory testing and results. Design and setting: Retrospective analysis of routinely collected data (rotavirus notifications [2006-2008] and laboratory rotavirus testing data from Queensland Health laboratories [2000-2008]) to monitor rotavirus trends before and after the introduction of a publicly funded infant rotavirus vaccination program in Queensland in July 2007. Main outcome measures: Age group-specific rotavirus notification trends; number of rotavirus tests performed and the proportion positive. Results: In the less than 2 years age group, rotavirus notifications declined by 53% (2007) and 65% (2008); the number of laboratory tests performed declined by 3% (2007) and 15% (2008); and the proportion of tests positive declined by 45% (2007) and 43% (2008) compared with data collected before introduction of the vaccination program. An indirect effect of infant vaccination was seen: notifications and the proportion of tests positive for rotavirus declined in older age groups as well. Conclusions: The publicly funded rotavirus vaccination program in Queensland is having an early impact, direct and indirect, on rotavirus disease as assessed using routinely collected data. Further observational studies are required to assess vaccine effectiveness. Parents and immunisation providers should ensure that all Australian children receive the recommended rotavirus vaccine doses in the required timeframe.
Medical Journal of Australia
Clinical Sciences not elsewhere classified