Research Article: Indirect Rotavirus Vaccine Effectiveness for the Prevention of Rotavirus Hospitalization: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Date Published: April 12, 2018

Publisher: The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

Author(s): Katherine L. Rosettie, Theo Vos, Ali H. Mokdad, Abraham D. Flaxman, Ibrahim Khalil, Christopher Troeger, Marcia R. Weaver.


Two rotavirus vaccines, RotaTeq and Rotarix, are licensed for global use; however, the protection they confer to unvaccinated individuals through indirect effects remains unknown. We systematically reviewed the literature and quantified indirect rotavirus vaccine effectiveness (VE) for preventing rotavirus hospitalization in children aged less than 5 years. From 148 identified abstracts, 14 studies met our eligibility criteria. In our main analysis using a random-effects model, indirect rotavirus VE was 48% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 39–55%). In a subgroup analysis by country income level, indirect VE was greater in high-income countries (52%; 95% CI: 43–60%) than in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) (25%; 95% CI: 5–41%). In a sensitivity analysis using a quality-effects model, the indirect VE in LMICs was not statistically significant (25%; 95% CI: 0–44%). Our findings highlight the importance of increasing rotavirus vaccine coverage, particularly in LMICs where evidence for indirect VE is limited and rotavirus burden is high.

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