September 23rd, 2011

Podcast 131: Measuring the effect of the rotavirus vaccine program on kids in the U.S.

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Vaccines work, and here’s more evidence. The quadrivalent rotavirus vaccine introduced in 2006 has dramatically lowered hospitalizations for rotavirus-related diarrhea among children under age 5, among other benefits. Its presence has produced a kind of herd immunity whereby even the unvaccinated are reaping benefits. It bears remembering, though, that vaccinees have about a 90% lower rate of hospitalization for the illness than the unvaccinated. And as to intussusception — a concern with an earlier rotavirus vaccine — that risk is an order-of-magnitude less, according to field data from outside the U.S.

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