Scope for Rotavirus Vaccination in India: Revisiting the Scientific Evidence
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Rotavirus vaccines have been developed to prevent deaths resulting from severe diarrhea of rotavirus origin. The use of vaccines as an intervention at scale to prevent and control the burden of rotavirus diarrhea is supported by the argument that prevailing public health measures such as hygiene and sanitation, breast feeding and use of ORS have failed to prevent severe dehydration resulting from diarrhea. The article reviews the existing evidence on the rationale of using rotavirus vaccine as against the feasibility of scaling it up in developing countries like India. The vaccines currently available may not cover the strains circulating in Indian population. The diversity of Rotavirus infection in the country is tremendous and since the safety, immunogenicity and efficacy data has not been collected for India, there is first a need to conduct studies to measure the extent of protection and cross-protection provided by the available vaccines for local strains, before venturing into Rotavirus vaccination program. The potential benefits of immunization have to be first vetted against the risks involved by the policymakers and other stakeholders.
KeywordsRotavirus Vaccine India Policy decision
S N and H H; Did relevant literature search and drafted the manuscript, K S; Gave his inputs on the policy aspects mentioned in the paper, S Z; Provided overall guidance and approved the final version of the manuscript.
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