Evaluation of Intussusception after Monovalent Rotavirus Vaccination in Africa

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Abstract

Background

Postlicensure evaluations have identified an association between rotavirus vaccination and intussusception in several high- and middle-income countries. We assessed the association between monovalent human rotavirus vaccine and intussusception in lower-income sub-Saharan African countries.

Methods

Using active surveillance, we enrolled patients from seven countries (Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) who had intussusception that met international (Brighton Collaboration level 1) criteria. Rotavirus vaccination status was confirmed by review of the vaccine card or clinic records. The risk of intussusception within 1 to 7 days and 8 to 21 days after vaccination among infants 28 to 245 days of age was assessed by means of the self-controlled case-series method.

Results

Data on 717 infants who had intussusception and confirmed vaccination status were analyzed. One case occurred in the 1 to 7 days after dose 1, and 6 cases occurred in the 8 to 21 days after dose 1. Five cases and 16 cases occurred in the 1 to 7 days and 8 to 21 days, respectively, after dose 2. The risk of intussusception in the 1 to 7 days after dose 1 was not higher than the background risk of intussusception (relative incidence [i.e., the incidence during the risk window vs. all other times], 0.25; 95% confidence interval [CI], <0.001 to 1.16); findings were similar for the 1 to 7 days after dose 2 (relative incidence, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.16 to 1.87). In addition, the risk of intussusception in the 8 to 21 days or 1 to 21 days after either dose was not found to be higher than the background risk.

Conclusions

The risk of intussusception after administration of monovalent human rotavirus vaccine was not higher than the background risk of intussusception in seven lower-income sub-Saharan African countries. (Funded by the GAVI Alliance through the CDC Foundation.)

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