Rotavirus vaccination within the South African Expanded Programme on Immunisation

MRC/UL Diarrhoeal Pathogens Research Unit, Department of Virology, Medunsa Campus, University of Limpopo/National Health Laboratory Service, Pretoria, South Africa.
Vaccine (Impact Factor: 3.62). 09/2012; 30 Suppl 3:C14-20. DOI: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2012.04.018
Source: PubMed


Diarrhoeal diseases are ranked the third major cause of childhood mortality in South African children less than 5years, where the majority of deaths are among black children. Acute severe dehydrating rotavirus diarrhoea remains an important contributor towards childhood mortality and morbidity and has been well documented in South Africa. As the preventive strategy to control rotavirus diarrhoea, South Africa became the first country in the WHO African Region to adopt the rotavirus vaccine in the national childhood immunisation programme in August 2009. The rotavirus vaccine in use, Rotarix(®), GSK Biologicals, is given at 6 and 14weeks of age, along with other vaccines as part of Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI). Studies which facilitated the introduction of rotavirus vaccine in South Africa included the burden of rotavirus disease and strain surveillance, economic burden of rotavirus infection and clinical trials to assess the safety and efficacy of vaccine candidates. This paper reviews the epidemiology of rotavirus in South Africa, outlines some of the steps followed to introduce rotavirus vaccine in the EPI, and highlights the early positive impact of vaccination in reducing the rotavirus burden of disease based on the post-marketing surveillance studies at Dr George Mukhari hospital, a sentinel site at University of Limpopo teaching hospital in Pretoria, South Africa, which has conducted rotavirus surveillance for >20years.

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    • ", United States ) , have been licensed in more than 100 6 countries and are being introduced into routine immunization programs in the United States and other 7 countries in Latin America , Europe , Africa and Asia ( Armah et al . , 2010 ; Benhafid et al . , 2012 ; Cunliffe 8 et al . , 2012 ; Madhi et al . , 2012 ; Ruiz - Palacios et al . , 2006 ; Seheri et al . , 2012 ; Vesikari et al . , 2007a ; 9 Vesikari et al . , 2007b ) . Countries considering using these vaccines to reduce RVA disease have 10 introduced strain surveillance programs to provide strain prevalence data in the pre - vaccine era and to 11 judge the impact of the vaccine after introduction . When these new vaccines become widely used "
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    • "With the effective implementation of these two RV vaccines in both developed and developing countries, the morbidity and mortality rates associated with RV disease have dramatically declined (Fernandes et al., 2014; Msimang et al., 2013; Seheri et al., 2012; Vesikari et al., 2013; Walker et al., 2013). In Africa, data from South Africa showed a significant delay in the RV season by up to 8 weeks when comparing pre-and post-vaccination parameters in some settings (Seheri et al., 2012). "
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