Progress Update: October 2018


Dear Colleagues,

With the new prequalification of ROTASIIL, manufactured by Serum Institute of India, there are now four globally available rotavirus vaccines. Both ROTAVAC, prequalified in January 2018, and ROTASIIL provide different formulations and presentations from other globally available rotavirus vaccines and should have an impact on costs.  All four vaccines prequalified by WHO have shown similar efficacy rates in low-income settings. See below for materials on all prequalified rotavirus vaccine products. 

There will be much to discuss at the 2018 meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, where ROTA Council will convene a panel on progress, challenges, and the road ahead with rotavirus disease and vaccines. Read more about this and other updates below. 


Mathu Santosham
Chair, ROTA Council


The World Health Organization has prequalified ROTASIIL, a new rotavirus vaccine from India

On 21 September, 2018, ROTASIIL was prequalified by WHO, marking a major milestone for the vaccine community. ROTASIIL is manufactured by Serum Institute of India and is the first rotavirus vaccine that doesn't require constant refrigeration. 

ROTASIIL, an oral vaccine, is administered to infants in a three-dose schedule at 6, 10, and 14 weeks of age. It has been used in India's national immunization program in Jharkhand state since April 2018 and is expected to be used more broadly in India in the coming months. 

On a global level, expanding choices between vaccine products  can drive down market price and avoid supply constraints. View product details for 1-dose and 2-dose products (pictured below) here, or download Gavi's detailed product profiles on all prequalified rotavirus vaccine products .



Uttar Pradesh becomes India's 11th state to include rotavirus vaccines in its Universal Immunization Programme

On 4 September, the Uttar Pradesh government added rotavirus vaccine to its routine immunization programme, which aims to protect 5.7 million newborns annually from rotavirus disease. With the rotavirus vaccine, Uttar Pradesh hopes to see a significant decrease in infant mortality. Learn more here.

Photo of ROTAVAC being given by drops to an infant by Monica Tiwari for the International Vaccine Access Center

At #TropMed 2018, ROTA Council symposium will address progress, challenges, and the road ahead regarding rotavirus 

On 1 November, ROTA Council will hold a session at the 67th American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene (ASTMH) annual meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, known as TropMed. The session will focus on the current rotavirus disease burden, vaccine landscape, barriers to access, and solutions to expand vaccine coverage.

Approximately 4,600 attendees with diverse backgrounds will be meeting for 5 days at ASTMH.  To learn more, visit  ASTMH's website .

Save the Date for the Asian Vaccine Conference (ASVAC) 2019 in Myanmar

ROTA Council will join immunization advocates, academics, government, vaccine manufacturers, and practitioners at the 7th Asian Vaccine Conference (ASVAC) in Yangon, Myanmar, from 13-15 September.

Over 400 practitioners from 10+ countries will gather 
to address sustaining health security challenges and opportunities in Asia. Specific themes from the conference include  ASEAN vaccine security & self-reliance, vaccine hesitancy & advocacy, future trends in vaccination, and more.


Rotavirus vaccine significantly reduced children's risk of hospitalization in the Philippines 

Results from a vaccine effectiveness study in the Philippines support the introduction of rotavirus vaccines into routine public health use in the country. Authors including Anna Lena Lopez found that the vaccine reduced the risk of a child being hospitalized for rotavirus disease by 60%. 

Rotavirus vaccines were selectively introduced in 2012 in the Philippines and in July 2014 introduced into the public health program of a province. Effectiveness findings from the test negative case-control evaluation, published in  Nature  in September 2018, show that rotavirus is an important cause of diarrhea in the Philippines, responsible for 34% of cases of children hospitalized for diarrheal disease. 

Authors highlight that aside from being provided in two regions in the Philippines, rotavirus vaccines are also available in the private sector. Yet children brought to private sector for immunization represent less than 10% of the population. 



Cost-effectiveness comparison of three rotavirus vaccines in Bangladesh, Ghana, and Malawi

An article re-evaluating the cost and cost-effectiveness of Rotarix, ROTAVAC, and ROTASIIL has demonstrated that all of the examined vaccines would be highly cost-effective compared to no vaccination. Although this specific modeling study found Rotarix to be the least costly and most cost-effective product in the three countries, the differences are subject to change and can be very small.


VIEW-hub Report provides data on global and Gavi uptake of rotavirus vaccine

VIEW-hub's recently published September report on global vaccine introduction and implementation provides new data on rotavirus vaccine. It includes introduction trends, current vaccine introduction status, rotavirus vaccine coverage, and more.

Abou-Nader AJ, Sauer MA, Steele AD, Tate JE, Atherly D, Parashar UD, Santosham M, Nelson EAS.  Hum Vaccin Immunother 2018 May [ Epub ahead of print]

Cowley D, Nirwati H, Donato CM, Bogdanovic-Sakran N, Boniface K, Kirkwood CD Bines JE Vaccine. 2018 Sep 18

Praharaj I, Platts-Mills JA, Taneja S, Antony K, Yuhas K, Flores J, Cho I, Bhandari N, Revathy R, Bavedkar A, Rongsen-Chandola T, McMurry T, Houpt ER, Kang G. Clin Infect Dis. 2018 Oct 17 [Epub ahead of print]

Troeger C, Khalil IA, Rao PC, Cao S, Blacker BF, Ahmed T, Armah G, Bines JE, Brewer TG, Colombara DV, Kang G, Kirkpatrick BD, Kirkwood CD, Mwenda JM, Parashar UD, Petri WA Jr, Riddle MS, Steele AD, Thompson RL, Walson JL, Sanders JW, Mokdad AH, Murray CJL, Hay SI, Reiner RC Jr.  JAMA Pediatr 2018 Aug 13 [Epub ahead of print]

The New Nation  ( Bangladesh) 11 October, 2018

Geek Wire  (USA) 14 September, 2018

The Nation (USA) 10 September, 2018

DefeatDD (USA) 14 August, 2018

DefeatDD Youtube (USA) 28 June, 2018

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