Researchers have found that vaccinating infants against rotavirus may help protect the unvaccinated children and adults around them.
In a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases, there were fewer rotavirus-related hospital admissions after the vaccine was introduced in 2008 than from 2000 to 2008. Ben Lopman, one of the scientists involved in the study, believes this is due to infant vaccinations.
"Our study showed that the burden of rotavirus--severe enough to require hospitalization--in older children and adults is larger than we were previously aware," Lopman said, according to Medical News Today. "And by vaccinating infants, we can indirectly prevent this burden of disease, thereby amplifying public health and economic benefits of infant vaccination."
In addition, fewer hospitalized rotavirus patients led to lower overall costs. "We estimate that 15 percent of the total 66,000 averted hospitalizations and 20 percent of the $204 million in averted direct medical costs attributable to the vaccination program were among unvaccinated 5-24 year-olds," according to the study, as quoted by the CBC.