“A small increase in intussusception rates was seen among infants aged 8–11 weeks, to whom most first doses of rotavirus vaccine were given, but no sustained population-level change in overall intussusception hospitalizations rates in US infants was observed after implementation of the US rotavirus vaccination program. Although an association between intussusception and rotavirus vaccination cannot be established by this ecologic analysis alone, even if the low risk with the first dose exists, it is outweighed by the well-documented benefits of vaccination of US infants”
This is a big deal- a very important, big deal: human rotavirus kills more than 500 000 people a year (mainly very little), and rotavirus vaccines have been bedevilled with the suspicion that they cause telescoping of the intestine, or intussusception. Which can be fatal, and is not something you want happening to your healthy baby.
However, and however: I have taught my students for years to be aware of relative risks when talking about vaccines, and there is absolutely no doubt that even the Wyeth vaccine could have been considered “safe” in a developing country environment, where the threat of death due to diarrhoea and dehyderation caused by rotavirus, would have been far greater than any threat from the vaccine.
I thank Rusdsell Kightley Media for the rotavirus graphic
See on jid.oxfordjournals.org