Systematic review of the effect of additional doses of oral rotavirus vaccine on immunogenicity and reduction in diarrhoeal disease among young children

Bianca F. Middleton, Parveen Fathima, Thomas Snelling, Peter Morris

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Oral rotavirus vaccines have lower effectiveness in high child mortality settings. We evaluated the impact of additional dose(s) schedules of rotavirus vaccine on vaccine immunogenicity and reduction in episodes of gastroenteritis.

We searched Medline (via PubMed), Cochrane databases and for randomised controlled trials from 1973 to February 2022, evaluating the immunological and clinical impact of additional dose vs standard dose oral rotavirus vaccine schedules. We extracted immunogenicity – proportion of children with evidence of anti-rotavirus IgA seroresponse, and clinical – proportion of children with at least one episode of severe rotavirus gastroenteritis, outcome data and used random effects meta-analysis where appropriate. We assessed the methodological quality of the studies using the Cochrane risk of bias tool. The study protocol was registered in PROSPERO (CRD42021261058).

We screened 536 items and included 7 clinical trials. Our results suggest moderate to high level evidence that an additional dose rotavirus vaccine schedule improves IgA vaccine immune response, including additional doses administered as a booster dose schedule >6 months old; IgA vaccine seroresponse 74·3% additional dose schedule vs 56·1% standard dose schedule RR 1·3 (95%CI, 1·15 – 1·48), and when administered to children who were seronegative at baseline; IgA vaccine seroresponse 48.2% additional dose schedule vs 29.6% standard dose schedule RR 1.86 (95%CI 1.27 to 2.72). Only one study evaluated reduction in gastroenteritis episodes and found little benefit in first year of life, 1·8% vs 2·0% RR 0·88 (95% CI, 0·52 to 1·48), or second year of life, 1·7% vs 2·9% RR 0·62 (95%CI, 0·31 – 1·23).

Administering an additional dose of oral rotavirus vaccines is likely to result in an improved vaccine immune response, including when administered as a booster dose to older children. Evidence of an impact on diarrhoeal disease is needed before additional dose rotavirus vaccine schedules can be recommended as vaccine policy.

BM was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians Paediatrics and Child Health Division, and the Australian Academy of Science.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101687
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022


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