Rapid impact of rotavirus vaccination in the United States: implications for Australia

Kristine K Macartney and Margaret A Burgess
Med J Aust 2009; 191 (3): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2009.tb02717.x
Published online: 3 August 2009

Australia is in a unique position to assess the impact of two different rotavirus vaccines

In 1973, Ruth Bishop and her colleagues in Melbourne were the first to identify rotavirus gastroenteritis in infants. Rotavirus has since been recognised as the most frequent cause of severe childhood gastroenteritis worldwide. In temperate climates, infection occurs predominantly in winter and spring.

  • 1 National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance, Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, NSW.
  • 2 Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW.


Competing interests:

Margaret Burgess has received vaccine trial research support from, and given advice to, both GlaxoSmithKline and Merck/CSL. The National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance is supported by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, the New South Wales Department of Health, the University of Sydney and the Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

  • 1. Schultz R. Rotavirus gastroenteritis in the Northern Territory, 1995–2004. Med J Aust 2006; 185: 354-356. <MJA full text>
  • 2. Galati JC, Harsley S, Richmond P, Carlin JB. The burden of rotavirus-related illness among young children on the Australian health care system. Aust N Z J Public Health 2006; 30: 416-421.
  • 3. Ruiz-Palacios GM, Pérez-Schael I, Velázquez FR, et al. Safety and efficacy of an attenuated vaccine against severe rotavirus gastroenteritis. N Engl J Med 2006; 354: 11-22.
  • 4. Vesikari T, Matson DO, Dennehy P, et al. Safety and efficacy of a pentavalent human-bovine (WC3) reassortant rotavirus vaccine. N Engl J Med 2006; 354: 23-33.
  • 5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Delayed onset and diminished magnitude of rotavirus activity — United States, November 2007–May 2008. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2008; 57: 697-700.
  • 6. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Summary report; October 22–23, 2008; Atlanta, Ga. (accessed Jan 2009).
  • 7. Parashar UD, Glass RI. Rotavirus vaccines — early success, remaining questions. N Engl J Med 2009; 360: 1063-1065.
  • 8. Haber P, Patel M, Izurieta HS, et al. Postlicensure monitoring of intussusception after RotaTeq vaccination in the United States, February 1, 2006, to September 25, 2007. Pediatrics 2008; 121: 1206-1212.
  • 9. Ward KA, McIntyre PB, Kirkwood CD, et al. Rotavirus surveillance in Australia. Commun Dis Intell 2008; 32: 82-87.
  • 10. Snelling T, Schultz R, Graham J, et al. Rotavirus and the Indigenous children of the Australian outback: monovalent vaccine effective in a high burden setting. Clin Infect Dis 2009. In press.
  • 11. Lawrence G, Gold MS, Hill R, et al. Annual report: surveillance of adverse events following immunisation in Australia, 2007. Commun Dis Intell 2008; 32: 371-387.
  • 12. Vesikari T, Karvonen A, Prymula R, et al. Efficacy of human rotavirus vaccine against rotavirus gastroenteritis during the first 2 years of life in European infants: randomised, double-blind controlled study [see comment]. Lancet 2007; 370: 1757-1763.
  • 13. Chandran A, Santosham M. RotaTeq: a three-dose oral pentavalent reassortant rotavirus vaccine. Expert Rev Vaccines 2008; 7: 1475-1480.
  • 14. Lambert SB, Faux CE, Hall L, et al. Early evidence for direct and indirect effects of the infant rotavirus vaccine program in Queensland. Med J Aust 2009; 191: 157-160. <MJA full text>


remove_circle_outline Delete Author
add_circle_outline Add Author

Do you have any competing interests to declare? *

I/we agree to assign copyright to the Medical Journal of Australia and agree to the Conditions of publication *
I/we agree to the Terms of use of the Medical Journal of Australia *
Email me when people comment on this article

Online responses are no longer available. Please refer to our instructions for authors page for more information.