Rotavirus Vaccination of Infants Delayed and Limited within the National Immunization Programme in the Netherlands: An Opportunity Lost

Florian Zeevat*, Evgeni Dvortsin, Abrham Wondimu, Jan C. Wilschut, Cornelis Boersma, Maarten J. Postma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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In this study, we estimated the benefits of rotavirus vaccination for infants had the rotavirus vaccine been introduced in the Netherlands as of its market authorization in 2006. An age-structured, deterministic cohort model was developed to simulate different birth cohorts over a period of 15 years from 2006 until 2021, comparing both universal and targeted high-risk group vaccination to no vaccination. Different scenarios for the duration of protection (5 or 7 years) and herd immunity (only for universal vaccination) were analyzed. All birth cohorts together included 2.6 million infants, of which 7.9% were high-risk individuals, and an additional 13.2 million children between 1-15 years born prior to the first cohort in 2006. The costs and health outcomes associated with rotavirus vaccination were calculated per model scenario and discounted at 4% and 1.5%, respectively. Our analysis reveals that, had rotavirus vaccination been implemented in 2006, it would have prevented 356,800 (51% decrease) and 32,200 (5% decrease) cases of rotavirus gastroenteritis after universal and targeted vaccination, respectively. Over the last 15 years, this would have led to significant avoided costs and quality-adjusted life year losses for either vaccination strategy with the most favorable outcomes for universal vaccination. Clearly, an opportunity has been lost.

Original languageEnglish
Article number144
Number of pages14
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10-Feb-2021


  • National Immunization Programme
  • vaccination
  • public health
  • rotavirus vaccine
  • costs and effects

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