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Impact of Rotavirus Vaccine Introduction and Vaccine Effectiveness in the Republic of Moldova.

Abstract

These results consistently point to profound direct and herd immunity impacts of the rotavirus vaccine program in young children in the Republic of Moldova. Vaccine coverage was modest in these early years following introduction, so there remains potential for further disease reductions.

Coverage with at least 1 dose of vaccine increased from 35% in year 1 to 55% in year 2 for children <1 year of age. The percentage of hospital admissions positive for rotavirus fell from 45% in the prevaccine period to 25% (rate reduction, 36%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 26%-44%) and 14% (rate reduction, 67%; 95% CI, 48%-88%) in the first and second years after vaccine introduction, respectively, among children aged <5 years. Reductions were most pronounced among those aged <1 year. Significant reductions among cohorts too old to be vaccinated suggest indirect benefits. Two-dose VE was 79% (95% CI, 62%-88%) against rotavirus hospitalization and 84% (95% CI, 64%-93%) against moderate to severe rotavirus.

The Republic of Moldova was the first low- to middle-income country in the World Health Organization European Region to introduce rotavirus vaccine (July 2012). We aimed to assess the impact of the rotavirus vaccine program and estimate vaccine effectiveness (VE).

Surveillance for rotavirus gastroenteritis was conducted in 2 hospitals in the capital city of Chisinau starting in September 2009. Monthly rotavirus admissions by age were examined before and after introduction of rotavirus vaccination using interrupted time-series analyses. We performed a case-control study of VE by comparing rotavirus case patients with test-negative controls.

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