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Abstract Background The introduction of an oral live-attenuated monovalent rotavirus vaccine (Rotarix ®) into the UK infant immunisation programme in July 2013 was associated with large reductions in laboratory-confirmed rotavirus infections and hospitalisations due to acute gastroenteritis (AGE) within 12 months. Here we report the five-year impact of the programme in England. Methods Individuals with laboratory-confirmed rotavirus infections during 2000-2018 and all-cause hospitalisations for AGE during 2007-2018 were identified using national electronic records. Age-specific incidence rate ratios (IRR) and estimated numbers of cases averted in each of the five post-vaccination years were calculated. Results There were 206,389 laboratory-confirmed rotavirus infections and 3,657,651 hospitalisations for all-cause AGE. Reductions of 69-83% in laboratory-confirmed rotavirus infections in all age groups and 77-88% in infants aged <1 year in each of the five post-vaccine years are reported, with 11,386-11,633 cases averted annually. All-cause AGE hospitalisations were reduced by 12-35% across all age-groups and by 25-48% in <1 year-olds in the five post-vaccine years, with 24,474-49,278 hospitalisations averted annually. There was strong evidence of indirect (herd) protection, with at least 50% and up to 80% of the non-specific end point of all-cause gastroenteritis (AGE) hospitalisations averted being in unvaccinated age-groups, primarily older adults. Seasonal changes include a possible shift from annual to biennial peaks with lower peak incidence and longer seasons. Conclusions There were large and sustained declines in both laboratory-confirmed rotavirus infections and AGE hospitalisations across all age groups in each of the five years since the introduction of the UK rotavirus programme.

Original publication

DOI

10.1093/cid/ciab460

Type

Journal

Clinical Infectious Diseases

Publisher

Oxford University Press (OUP)

Publication Date

27/05/2021