Understanding Rotavirus Vaccine Efficacy and Effectiveness in Countries with High Child Mortality

Tintu Varghese, Gagandeep Kang, Andrew Duncan Steele*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Rotavirus claims thousands of lives of children globally every year with a disproportion-ately high burden in low-and lower-middle income countries where access to health care is limited. Oral, live-attenuated rotavirus vaccines have been evaluated in multiple settings in both low-and high-income populations and have been shown to be safe and efficacious. However, the vaccine efficacy observed in low-income settings with high rotavirus and diarrheal mortality was significantly lower than that seen in high-income populations where rotavirus mortality is less common. Rotavirus vaccines have been introduced and rolled out in more than 112 countries, providing the opportunity to assess effectiveness of the vaccines in these different settings. We provide an overview of the efficacy, effectiveness, and impact of rotavirus vaccines, focusing on high-mortality settings and identify the knowledge gaps for future research. Despite lower efficacy, rotavirus vaccines substan-tially reduce diarrheal disease and mortality and are cost-effective in countries with high burden. Continued evaluation of the effectiveness, impact, and cost–benefit of rotavirus vaccines, especially the new candidates that have been recently approved for global use, is a key factor for new vaccine introductions in countries, or for a switch of vaccine product in countries with limited resources.

Original languageEnglish
Article number346
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute gastroenteritis
  • Indirect effects
  • Rotavirus
  • Rotavirus vaccines
  • Vaccine effectiveness
  • Vaccine efficacy


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