Impact of rotavirus vaccination on rotavirus and all-cause gastroenteritis in peri-urban Kenyan children

Volume 35, Issue 38, Pages 5081-5224 (12 September 2017)

Impact of rotavirus vaccination on rotavirus and all-cause gastroenteritis in peri-urban Kenyan children
Original Research Article
Pages 5217-5223
Ernest Apondi Wandera, Shah Mohammad, Martin Bundi, Satoshi Komoto, James Nyangao, Cyrus Kathiiko, Erick Odoyo, Gabriel Miring’u, Koki Taniguchi, Yoshio Ichinose
A monovalent rotavirus vaccine (RV1) was introduced into the National Immunization Program in Kenya in July 2014. We examined the impact of the vaccine on hospitalization for all-cause acute gastroenteritis (AGE) and rotavirus-specific AGE and strain distribution at a large referral hospital which serves a predominantly peri-urban population in Central Kenya. Data on rotavirus AGE and strain distribution were derived from ongoing hospital-based AGE surveillance. Hospital administrative data were used to compare trends in all-cause AGE. Pre-vaccine (July 2009–June 2014) and post-vaccine (July 2014–June 2016) periods were compared for changes in hospitalization for all-cause AGE and rotavirus AGE and strain distribution. Following the vaccine introduction, the proportion of children aged <5 years hospitalized for rotavirus declined by 30% (95% CI: 19–45%) in the first year and 64% (95% CI: 49–77%) in the second year. Reductions in rotavirus positivity were most pronounced among the vaccine-eligible group (<12 months) in the first year post-vaccination at 42% (95% CI: 28–56%). Greater reductions of 67% (95% CI: 51–79%) were seen in the second year in the 12–23 months age group. Similarly, hospitalizations for all-cause AGE among children <5 years of age decreased by 31% (95% CI: 24–40%) in the first year and 58% (95% CI: 49–67%) in the second year of vaccine introduction. Seasonal peaks of rotavirus and all-cause AGE were reduced substantially. There was an increased detection of G2P[4], G3P[6] and G3P[8], which coincided temporally with the timing of the vaccine introduction. Thus, introducing the rotavirus vaccine into the routine immunization program in Kenya has resulted in a notable decline in rotavirus and all-cause AGE hospitalizations in Central Kenya. This provides early evidence for public health policy makers in Kenya to support the sustained use of the rotavirus vaccine in routine immunizations.