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May 10, 2021

Rotavirus Vaccines—Going Strong After 15 Years

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Infectious Diseases, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio
JAMA Pediatr. 2021;175(7):e210356. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.0356

This editorial is dedicated to the hope that the new COVID-19 vaccines will be as successful as rotavirus vaccines in protecting against disease. Based on their high burden of mortality in low-income countries and hospitalization in the middle-income to high-income countries, rotavirus was marked as a key target for vaccine development shortly after identification in 1973. The first efforts to develop a live attenuated vaccine met with an initial hiccup because of the association of the vaccine with intussusception,1 but sustained success soon followed. Since licensure of RotaTeq2 in 2006 and Rotarix in 2008,3 rotavirus vaccines have been introduced in more than 100 countries. In an article in this issue of JAMA Pediatrics, Sun et al4 have conducted a thorough evaluation of the comparative benefits, risks, and immunogenicity of different rotavirus vaccines by reviewing randomized clinical trials and observational studies of vaccines to perform a meta-analysis. Because there are far more studies evaluating RotaTeq and Rotarix than the newer licensed vaccines (Rotavaq and Rotasiil in India and Niger and LLC in China), most of the comparisons concern these 2 vaccines.

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