Pediatric Drugs

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 223–233 | Cite as

Rotavirus Vaccines: Effectiveness, Safety, and Future Directions

  • Eleanor BurnettEmail author
  • Umesh Parashar
  • Jacqueline Tate
Review Article


Rotavirus is the leading cause of diarrheal death among children < 5 years old worldwide, estimated to have caused ~ 215,000 deaths in 2013. Prior to rotavirus vaccine implementation, > 65% of children had at least one rotavirus diarrhea illness by 5 years of age and rotavirus accounted for > 40% of all-cause diarrhea hospitalizations globally. Two live, oral rotavirus vaccines have been implemented nationally in > 100 countries since 2006 and their use has substantially reduced the burden of severe diarrheal illness in all settings. Vaccine efficacy and effectiveness estimates suggest there is a gradient in vaccine performance between low child-mortality countries (> 90%) and medium and high child-mortality countries (57–75%). Additionally, an increased risk of intussusception (~ 1–6 per 100,000 vaccinated infants) following vaccination has been documented in some countries, but this is outweighed by the large benefits of vaccination. Two additional live, oral rotavirus vaccines were recently licensed and these have improved on some programmatic limitations of earlier vaccines, such as heat stability, cost, and cold-chain footprint. Non-replicating rotavirus vaccines that are parenterally administered are in clinical testing, and these have the potential to reduce the performance differential and safety concerns associated with live oral rotavirus vaccines.



There was no funding for this review.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply  2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eleanor Burnett
    • 1
    Email author
  • Umesh Parashar
    • 2
  • Jacqueline Tate
    • 2
  1. 1.CDC Foundation for Division of Viral DiseasesCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Division of Viral DiseasesCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA

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