(HealthDay News) – Reduced hospitalizations for gastroenteritis among children aged 5 years or older and among adults in post-vaccine years in the United States suggest indirect protection from infant rotavirus vaccination, according to research published in the Aug. 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Paul A. Gastanaduy, MD, MPH, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed data from U.S. hospital inpatient stays to assess patterns of gastroenteritis hospitalizations before and after implementation of infant rotavirus immunization.

The researchers found that, compared with pre-vaccine years, significant reductions in rotavirus-coded discharges occurred during 2008–2010 in those aged 0–4 years (rate ratio [RR], 0.2), 5–14 years (RR, 0.3), and 15–24 years (RR, 0.47). Similar patterns were observed for cause-unspecified gastroenteritis discharges in the same age groups as well as those aged 25–44 years (RR, 0.94).

“The pattern of observed reductions in gastroenteritis discharges among unvaccinated older children and adults is consistent with indirect protection resulting from infant rotavirus vaccination,” the authors write.

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