European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases Consensus Recommendations for Rotavirus Vaccination in Europe: Update 2014

Timo Vesikari, Pierre Van Damme, Carlo Giaquinto, Ron Dagan, Alfredo Guarino, Hania Szajewska, Vytautas Usonis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


The first evidence-based recommendations for rotavirus (RV) vaccination in Europe were prepared at the time of licensure of 2 live oral RV vaccines (Rotarix, GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, and RotaTeq, Sanofi Pasteur MSD) in 2006 and published in 2008. Since then several countries in Europe and more globally have adopted universal RV vaccination of all healthy infants as part of their national immunization programs (NIPs). The experience from these NIPs has produced a wealth of post-introduction effectiveness data that, together with the evidence from prelicensure efficacy trials presented in the 2008 Recommendations, support the case of RV vaccination in Europe. The prelicensure safety trials of Rotarix and RotaTeq, each in populations of more than 60,000 infants, did not reveal risk of intussusception (IS), but postvaccination surveillance in several countries, particularly Australia and Mexico, has established that the risk of IS for both vaccines after the first dose might be between 1:50,000 and 1:80,000. Although it may be argued that the risk is acceptable vis-à-vis the great benefits of RV vaccination, this argument alone may not suffice, and every effort should be made to reduce the risk of IS. Considerable evidence, including postvaccination surveillance data from Germany, suggests that the risk of IS can be reduced by early administration of the first dose of oral RV vaccine. The previous European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases/European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition recommendations held that the first dose of oral RV vaccine should be given between 6 and 12 weeks of age; this recommendation is sustained but with an emphasis toward the lower range of the recommended age, that is, preferably between 6 and 8 weeks of age. At the time of the earlier recommendations, experience of RV vaccination in premature infants and other special target groups was limited. It is now recommended with greater confidence than before that prematurely born infants should be vaccinated according to their calendar age as recommended for full-term infants. It is now strongly recommended that all HIV-infected or HIV-exposed infants should be vaccinated with oral RV vaccine. Although specific information on many immunodeficiencies is lacking, infants with known severe combined immunodeficiency should not receive live RV vaccine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-643
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - 22 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Gastroenteritis
  • Guideline
  • Recommendation
  • Rotavirus
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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