Each year, an estimated 75,000-150,000 children aged under five are hospitalised in the EU/EEA due to rotavirus disease, according to burden of disease studies conducted in eighteen EU/EEA Member States. Mortality rates are low due to easy access to adequate medical treatment. Children seeking medical attention with rotavirus disease in emergency departments/out-patient settings or those hospitalised have the potential to be sources of nosocomial infection in other children attending medical services.
In 2006, two live attenuated rotavirus vaccines for oral use in infants were authorized for prevention of rotavirus disease in the EU. Vaccine effectiveness documented in observational studies when the vaccines have been introduced into routine paediatric vaccination programmes ranges between 85-90%. Inclusion of rotavirus vaccines in the routine childhood immunisation programme has been initiated or will soon be initiated in 12 EU/EEA countries.
ECDC is launching for public consultation an expert opinion on rotavirus vaccination in infancy.
The final expert opinion aims to provide EU/EEA Member States with relevant scientific information and expert opinion to support the decision-making process on the possible introduction and monitoring of routine vaccination of infants against rotavirus-induced gastroenteritis.
The expert opinion highlights issues to be considered before and after introduction of rotavirus vaccines, and identifies knowledge gaps and areas in need of further research.
In order to receive comments from the scientific community and other stakeholders, the expert opinion is open for public consultation. The deadline for submission of comments is 28 November, 2016.
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