Strict age limits for receipt of rotavirus vaccines and simultaneous use of vaccines requiring two (Rotarix(®)) and three (RotaTeq(®)) doses in Australia may impact on coverage and timeliness of other vaccines in the infant schedule. Using data from the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR), coverage and timeliness of rotavirus vaccines and changes in timeliness of other infant vaccines following rotavirus vaccine introduction was examined, with particular emphasis on Indigenous infants in whom coverage is less optimal. Final dose rotavirus coverage reached 83% within 21 months of program commencement but remained 7% lower than other vaccines due in infancy. Coverage was 11-17% lower in Indigenous infants. Adherence to the first dose upper age limits for rotavirus vaccine was high with >97% of children vaccinated by the recommended age, but for subsequent rotavirus doses, receipt beyond the upper age limits was more common, especially in Indigenous children. Following rotavirus vaccine introduction, there were improvements in timeliness of receipt of all doses of DTPa-containing and 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccines. High population coverage can be attained with rotavirus vaccines, even with adherence to strict upper age restrictions for vaccine dose administration. Rotavirus vaccine introduction appears to have impacted upon the timeliness of other concomitantly scheduled vaccines. These factors should be considered when rotavirus programs are introduced.
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