September 23rd, 2011

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

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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