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    Rotavirus is the primary cause of severe acute gastroenteritis among children under the age of five globally, leading to 128,500 to 215,000 vaccine-preventable deaths annually. There are six licensed oral, live-attenuated rotavirus vaccines: four vaccines pre-qualified for global use by WHO, and two country-specific vaccines. Expansion of rotavirus vaccines into national immunization programs worldwide has led to a 59% decrease in rotavirus hospitalizations and 36% decrease in diarrhea deaths due to rotavirus in vaccine-introducing countries. This review describes the current rotavirus vaccines in use, global coverage, vaccine efficacy from clinical trials, and vaccine effectiveness and impact from post-licensure evaluations. Vaccine safety, particularly as it relates to the risk of intussusception, is also summarized. Additionally, an overview of candidate vaccines in the pipeline is provided. Considerable evidence over the past decade has demonstrated high effectiveness (80-90%) of rotavirus vaccines at preventing severe rotavirus disease in high-income countries, although the effectiveness has been lower (40-70%) in low-to-middle-income countries. Surveillance and research should continue to explore modifiable factors that influence vaccine effectiveness, strengthen data to better evaluate newer rotavirus vaccines, and aid in the development of future vaccines that can overcome the limitations of current vaccines.


    Jordan E Cates, Jacqueline E Tate, Umesh Parashar. Rotavirus vaccines: progress and new developments. Expert opinion on biological therapy. 2022 Mar;22(3):423-432

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    PMID: 34482790

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