Rotavirus vaccination coverage and adherence to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)-recommended vaccination schedule--United States, February 2006-May 2007.MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2008 Apr 18; 57(15):398-401.MM
Worldwide, rotavirus is the leading cause of severe gastroenteritis in children aged <5 years. In February 2006, a new human-bovine rotavirus vaccine, RotaTeq (Merck & Co., Inc., Whitehouse Station, New Jersey), was recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for routine vaccination of U.S. infants. Three doses of RotaTeq are recommended at ages 2, 4, and 6 months. The first dose should be administered between ages 6 and 12 weeks, and vaccination should not be initiated for infants aged >12 weeks. Subsequent doses should be administered at 4-10 week intervals, with all doses administered by age 32 weeks. This schedule is consistent with the ages at which RotaTeq was administered during prelicensure trials, and ACIP has recommended that RotaTeq only be administered at the ages for which safety and efficacy data are available. In 1999, a previous rhesus-human rotavirus vaccine, RotaShield (Wyeth Laboratories, Inc., Marietta, Pennsylvania), was withdrawn voluntarily from the U.S. market by the manufacturer because it was associated with intussusception, a form of bowel obstruction. The greatest risk for intussusception was noted after the first dose of RotaShield. Data from a large-scale, prelicensure safety trial and postlicensure monitoring do not indicate an association between the current RotaTeq vaccine and intussusception. CDC assessed rotavirus vaccination coverage among U.S. infants during February 2006-May 2007 and examined adherence to the ACIP-recommended vaccination schedule. This report summarizes the results of that assessment, which indicated that, by May 15, 2007, nearly half of infants aged 3 months had received 1 dose of rotavirus vaccine, with the majority of doses administered according to ACIP recommendations. Health-care providers should remain vigilant in following the ACIP-recommended vaccination schedule for rotavirus vaccine.