Neither the first nor second dose of the monovalent rotavirus vaccine increased the risk of intussusception in the 3 weeks after immunization, a recent study found.
“This finding contrasts with previous studies in high- and upper-middle-income countries, in which an association with intussusception was found,”, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and her associates reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.
“Given these large health benefits, the absence of increased risk of intussusception after RV1 [monovalent Rotarix vaccine] administration in our study is reassuring,” the authors wrote.
An African Intussusception Surveillance Network at 29 hospitals in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe enrolled 1,060 infants younger than age 12 months who experienced intussusception during Feb. 2012-Dec. 2016.
The researchers excluded infants without confirmed record of rotavirus vaccination status or who developed intussusception symptoms when younger than 28 days or older than 245 days. A little more than a third of the remaining 717 infants (36%) were from Ghana, more than half (61%) were male, and their median age was 25 weeks. Only 2% of the children had never received breast milk before developing intussusception symptoms.
The researchers used vaccine cards and clinic records to determine the rotavirus vaccination status for those 717 children with intussusception. The majority of the children (84%) had received both doses of the monovalent rotavirus vaccine. A total of 6% had received only one dose, and 10% received none. Five children received at least one rotavirus vaccine dose after having had intussusception already.