Monthly Progress Update
March/April 2016

A Letter from the Chair

Dear ROTA Council members, partners, and supporters:
Since our last update, two countries—India and Liberia—have begun phased introductions of rotavirus vaccines. India, home to a birth cohort of 27 million, delivered the first dose of its indigenously manufactured rotavirus vaccine in Odisha on March 26th. Four states have now introduced the vaccine: Odisha, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, and Andhra Pradesh. This introduction is a huge step towards closing the gap in rotavirus vaccine access in South and South East Asia.
In addition, the May 2016 Clinical Infectious Diseases rotavirus supplement has been published. Several ROTA Council members have authored articles in the supplement—you will see many of these in our March/April member publications list below. We have also highlighted recent publications on the economic burden of rotavirus diarrhea and the cost-effectiveness of rotavirus vaccines.
As always, if you have any information you’d like to share with the Council, please let us know and we will include it in the May/June update.
Best regards,
In this edition...

News and Announcements 

Upcoming Events

The African Rotavirus Symposium will be held in Bamako, Mali, on June 1-2, 2016. The symposium will review research and global epidemiological trends on rotavirus and share practical experiences and impact and safety data on rotavirus vaccine introduction in African countries.

The International Rotavirus Symposium will be held in Melbourne, Australia, on September 7-9, 2016. The conference will include updates on rotavirus vaccines, early experiences with introduction of new rotavirus vaccines, epidemiology and burden of rotavirus disease, the pipeline for rotavirus vaccines, and next steps for rotavirus vaccines. More information is available here.

New Vaccine Data Visualization Platform Launched

The JHU International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) has recently launched VIEW-hub, a publicly accessible, interactive platform that enables users to instantly visualize data about vaccine introductions, product usage, dosing schedules, access, coverage, and more for a number of vaccines. Custom queries and maps, exportable data and graphics, and a map gallery are just some of the interactive features users can access. To learn more about the new tool and view video tutorials on how to use the platform, click here

Support Team Updates

Salma Warshanna-Sparklin and Sarah Houghton have joined the ROTA Council support team at IVAC. Salma previously served as a web writer for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Office of External Affairs. Sarah is an administrative coordinator with both IVAC and the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health.
Global Health Strategies (GHS) has joined the ROTA Council support team to support media and communications efforts, particularly in Asia. The team is based in New Delhi, India.

New Research Studies 

Clinical Infectious Diseases Rotavirus Supplement

CID has published the May 2016 supplement, Health Benefits of Rotavirus Vaccination in Developing Countries. The supplement features 20 articles highlighting new evidence on the global burden of rotavirus disease and the impact, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness of rotavirus vaccines in developing countries.
The long-awaited new global estimates of rotavirus mortality indicated that global under-five rotavirus deaths declined from 528,000 in 2000 to 215,000 in 2013. In 2013, 56% (121,000) of these deaths occurred in sub-Saharan Africa; Angola had the highest rotavirus mortality rate in 2013, at 240 per 100,000 children under five. The study estimated that 37% of diarrheal deaths were due to rotavirus in 2013, a slight decrease from 43% in 2000. More than 90% of rotavirus deaths in 2013 occurred in Gavi-eligible countries.

Rotavirus Publications - Economic Burden and Cost-Effectiveness

In addition to the CID supplement and member publications, this month’s progress update highlights several articles on the economic burden of rotavirus and the cost effectiveness of rotavirus vaccines in Turkey, Iran, Norway, and Malaysia, published (or Epublished ahead of print) in March-April 2016.
Cost-effectiveness of rotavirus vaccination in Turkey. Koksal T, Akelma AZ, Koksal AO, et al. J Microbiol Immunol Infect. 2016 Mar 31.
The cost effectiveness of rotavirus vaccination in Iran. Mousavi Jarrahi Y, Zahraei SM, Sadigh N, et al. Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2016 Mar 3;12(3):794-800.
Healthcare costs of rotavirus and other types of gastroenteritis in children in Norway. Shin M, Salamanca BV, Kristiansen IS, Flem E. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2016 Apr;35(4):e97-e101.
The hidden health and economic burden of rotavirus gastroenteritis in Malaysia: an estimation using multiple data sources. Loganathan T, Ng CW, Lee WS, Jit M. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2016 Jun;35(6):601-6.
For additional rotavirus-related articles published (or Epublished ahead of print) in March-April 2016, click here.

Recent Member Publications

The ROTA Council website is updated bimonthly with new rotavirus and diarrheal disease-related publications authored by Council members and core partners. View all of these recent member publications from March-April 2016 on the ROTA Council website.
A preliminary assessment of rotavirus vaccine effectiveness in Zambia. Beres LK, Tate JE, Njobvu L, Chibwe B, Rudd C, Guffey MB, Stringer JS, Parashar UD, Chilengi R. Clin Infect Dis. 2016 May 1;62 Suppl 2:S175-82.
Clinical severity and rotavirus vaccination among children hospitalized for acute gastroenteritis in Belém, Northern Brazil. Justino MC, Brasil P, Abreu E, Miranda Y, Mascarenhas JD, Guerra SF, Linhares AC. J Trop Pediatr. 2016 Feb 15. [Epub ahead of print]
Cost-effectiveness of monovalent rotavirus vaccination of infants in Malawi: a postintroduction analysis using individual patient-level costing data. Bar-Zeev N, Tate JE, Pecenka C, Chikafa J, Mvula H, Wachepa R, Mwansambo C, Mhango T, Chirwa G, Crampin AC, Parashar UD, Costello A, Heyderman RS, French N, Atherly D, Cunliffe NA; VACSURV Consortium. Clin Infect Dis. 2016 May 1;62 Suppl 2:S220-8.
Decline in Emergency Department Visits for Acute Gastroenteritis among children in 10 US states following implementation of rotavirus vaccination, 2003-2013. Shah MP, Tate JE, Steiner CA, Parashar UD. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2016 Apr 15. [Epub ahead of print]
Early evidence of impact of monovalent rotavirus vaccine in Togo. Tsolenyanu E, Mwenda JM, Dagnra A, Leshem E, Godonou M, Nassoury I, Landoh D, Tate JE, Atakouma Y, Parashar UD. Clin Infect Dis. 2016 May 1;62 Suppl 2:S196-9.
View more…
Council members and core partners wishing to add additional or missing relevant publications to the website may email

Advocacy Toolkit Spotlight

In March, ROTA Council launched the new white paper, Rotavirus: Common, Severe, Devastating, Preventable. The full paper and executive summary are now part of the advocacy toolkit.
New advocacy materials coming soon:
  • Rotavirus in Africa fact sheet
  • White paper slide deck

Introduction Updates

March/April introductions:
  • India (4 states)
  • Liberia
As of May 2016, 81 countries include rotavirus vaccines in their national immunization programs. A full list of countries that have introduced rotavirus vaccines is available on the ROTA Council website.

Rotavirus in the Media

Rotavirus vaccine on verge of being included in Expanded Programme on Immunization. The News International. 21 March 2016.
Pakistan to introduce rotavirus vaccine for diarrhea. Daily Times. 31 March 2016.
Closing the gap on vaccine efficacy in the 'global south'. Devex. 27 April 2016.
Scourge of rotavirus and ways to stop it. The Himalayan Times. 28 March 2016.
5 ways to stop 200,000 child deaths. Devex. 9 March 2016.
India launches war against a virus that kills over 100,000 kids every year. Quartz India. 28 March 2016.
Rotavirus gastroenteritis creates $50 million annual burden in Malaysia. Healio. 12 April 2016.
What will make vaccines work better in developing countries? Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. 15 March 2016.
Megacities worsen climate-prone diseases. Dhaka Tribune. 16 April 2016.
How geography impacts flu outbreaks. The Week. 19 April 2016.
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