Rotavirus (RV) infections progressively confer natural immunity against subsequent infection. Similarly to natural infection, vaccination with a live attenuated vaccine potentially reduces RV transmission and induces herd protection. A mathematical transmission model was developed to project the impact of a vaccination programme on the incidence of RV infection and disease for five countries in the European Union. With vaccination coverage rates of 70%, 90% and 95% the model predicted that, in addition to the direct effect of vaccination, herd protection induced a reduction in RV-related gastroenteritis (GE) incidence of 25%, 22% and 20%, respectively, for RV-GE of any severity, and of 19%, 15%, and 13%, respectively, for moderate-to-severe RV-GE, 5 years after implementation of a vaccination programme.
(Accepted October 29 2009)
(Online publication December 23 2009)