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J Paediatr Child Health. 2011 May;47(5):266-70. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.2010.01953.x. Epub 2011 Jan 18.

Decline in rotavirus hospitalisations following introduction of Australia's national rotavirus immunisation programme.

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National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance, The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Locked Bag 4001, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia.



To determine the impact of rotavirus immunisation on rotavirus hospitalisations in young children. methods: Annual hospitalisations for rotavirus gastroenteritis to The Children's Hospital at Westmead, a tertiary care paediatric hospital in Sydney, were recorded from 2001 for 6 years prior to and 2.5 years following the introduction of rotavirus vaccines to the National Immunisation Program. Data on hospital-acquired rotavirus gastroenteritis were collected prospectively.


Hospitalisations for rotavirus gastroenteritis declined in the two full rotavirus seasons (2008 and 2009) after vaccine introduction by 75% compared with mean annual hospitalisations from 2001 to 2006. The greatest decline was seen in those <12 months of age (93%), but the reduction occurred consistently across all age groups, even in children not eligible for immunisation, suggesting an effect on herd immunity. A substantial decline in nosocomial rotavirus gastroenteritis was seen from 2007 to 2009, suggesting a reduction in virus transmission in the hospital setting.


This study demonstrates a substantial reduction in hospitalisations in children of all ages to a large paediatric hospital and reduced nosocomial infections since the introduction of a nationally funded rotavirus immunisation programme in Australia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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