Importance: Rotavirus vaccines have been introduced worldwide, and the clinical association of different rotavirus vaccines with reduction in rotavirus gastroenteritis (RVGE) after introduction are noteworthy.
Objective: To evaluate the comparative benefit, risk, and immunogenicity of different rotavirus vaccines by synthesizing randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and observational studies.
Data sources: Relevant studies published in 4 databases: Embase, PubMed, the Cochrane Library, and Web of Science were searched until July 1, 2020, using search terms including "rotavirus" and "vaccin*."
Study selection: Randomized clinical trials and cohort and case-control studies involving more than 100 children younger than 5 years that reported the effectiveness, safety, or immunogenicity of rotavirus vaccines were included.
Data extraction and synthesis: A random-effects model was used to calculate relative risks (RRs), odds ratios (ORs), risk differences, and 95% CIs. Adjusted indirect treatment comparison was performed to assess the differences in the protection of Rotarix and RotaTeq.
Main outcomes and measures: The primary outcomes were RVGE, severe RVGE, and RVGE hospitalization. Safety-associated outcomes involved serious adverse events, intussusception, and mortality.
Results: A meta-analysis of 20 RCTs and 38 case-control studies revealed that Rotarix (RV1) significantly reduced RVGE (RR, 0.316 [95% CI, 0.224-0.345]) and RVGE hospitalization risk (OR, 0.347 [95% CI, 0.279-0.432]) among children fully vaccinated; RotaTeq (RV5) had similar outcomes (RVGE: RR, 0.350 [95% CI, 0.275-0.445]; RVGE hospitalization risk: OR, 0.272 [95% CI, 0.197-0.376]). Rotavirus vaccines also demonstrated higher protection against severe RVGE. Additionally, no significant differences in the protection of RV1 and RV5 against rotavirus disease were noted in adjusted indirect comparisons. Moderate associations were found between reduced RVGE risk and Rotavac (RR, 0.664 [95% CI, 0.548-0.804]), Rotasiil (RR, 0.705 [95% CI, 0.605-0.821]), and Lanzhou lamb rotavirus vaccine (RR, 0.407 [95% CI, 0.332-0.499]). All rotavirus vaccines demonstrated no risk of serious adverse events. A positive correlation was also found between immunogenicity and vaccine protection (eg, association of RVGE with RV1: coefficient, -1.599; adjusted R2, 99.7%).
Conclusions and relevance: The high protection and low risk of serious adverse events for rotavirus vaccines in children who were fully vaccinated emphasized the importance of worldwide introduction of rotavirus vaccination. Similar protection provided by Rotarix and RotaTeq relieves the pressure of vaccines selection for health care authorities.