Rotavirus vaccine and diarrhea mortality: quantifying regional variation in effect size

Walker, Christa L. Fischer; Black, Robert E.
January 2011
BMC Public Health;2011 Supplement 3, Vol. 11 Issue Suppl 3, p1
Academic Journal
Background: Diarrhea mortality remains a leading cause of child death and rotavirus vaccine an effective tool for preventing severe rotavirus diarrhea. New data suggest vaccine efficacy may vary by region. Methods: We reviewed published vaccine efficacy trials to estimate a regional-specific effect of vaccine efficacy on severe rotavirus diarrhea and hospitalizations. We assessed the quality of evidence using a standard protocol and conducted meta-analyses where more than 1 data point was available. Results: Rotavirus vaccine prevented severe rotavirus episodes in all regions; 81% of episodes in Latin America, 42.7% of episodes in high-mortality Asia, 50% of episodes in sub-Saharan Africa, 88% of episodes low-mortality Asia and North Africa, and 91% of episodes in developed countries. The effect sizes observed for preventing severe rotavirus diarrhea will be used in LiST as the effect size for rotavirus vaccine on rotavirus-specific diarrhea mortality. Conclusions: Vaccine trials have not measured the effect of vaccine on diarrhea mortality. The overall quality of the evidence and consistency observed across studies suggests that estimating mortality based on a severe morbidity reduction is highly plausible.


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