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Infant rotavirus vaccination may provide indirect protection to older children and adults in the United States.

Abstract

Following the introduction of rotavirus vaccination in the United States, rotavirus and cause-unspecified gastroenteritis discharges significantly decreased in 2008 in the 0-4, 5-14, and 15-24-year age groups, with significant reductions observed in March, the historic peak rotavirus month, in all age groups. We estimate that 15% of the total 66 000 averted hospitalizations and 20% of the $204 million in averted direct medical costs attributable to the vaccination program were among unvaccinated 5-24 year-olds. This study demonstrates a previously unrecognized burden of severe rotavirus in the population >5 years and the primacy of very young children in the transmission of rotavirus.

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