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Commentary
October 19, 2011

Lessons From the US Rotavirus Vaccination Program

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Division of Viral Diseases, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia (Drs Patel and Parashar), and Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland (Dr Glass).

JAMA. 2011;306(15):1701-1702. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1475

Every winter, children, parents, and clinicians in the United States have to deal with the annual seasonal outbreak of rotavirus, the most common cause of severe diarrhea in children worldwide. Before the implementation of routine vaccination against rotavirus in 2006, most US children had experienced an episode of rotavirus diarrhea by the age of 5 years, an estimated 400 000, or 1 child in 6, required outpatient treatment and about 55 000 to 70 000 children, or 1 in 50, were hospitalized.1 The health consequences of this annual event in the United States were unsettling and were estimated to cost more than $1 billion per year.1

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