Background: In Nagoya city, Japan, rotavirus (RV) vaccination has been available since 2011 with estimated coverage reaching 92% by 2015 after the introduction of a public subsidy in 2012. This study assessed the impact of vaccination on the RV gastroenteritis (RVGE) burden in children aged <5 years old (y) by comparing RVGE hospitalizations and outpatient visits during pre-vaccination (2007–2011), transition (2011–2012) and subsidization (2012–2016) periods. Methods: All hospitalizations and outpatient visits in children aged <5 y from 2 administrative districts of Nagoya city were identified from the hospital-based electronic databases of 4 hospitals. RVGE cases were identified by diagnostic code and/or positive results of diagnostic kits. Results: Compared to the pre-vaccination period, there was a decrease in RVGE hospitalizations for children <5 y from 5.59 per 1000 person-year (kPY) to 3.65/kPY in the subsidization period (i.e. 34.69%). In children <1 y, the incidence of RVGE hospitalizations decreased continuously from 6.62/kPY in the pre-vaccination period to 1.84/kPY in the subsidization period (i.e. 72.19%). The highest decrease was observed in the subsidization season i.e. when high coverage was reached: 69% and 75.57% in the 2013/2014 season for 2–3 y and 3–4 y, and 74.03% in the 2014/2015 season for 4–5 y, respectively. Proportion of RVGE outpatient visits decreased by 87.44% for children <1 y and 57.05% for <5 y from the pre-vaccination to the subsidization period. This decrease started the first year of subsidization for children <1 y, 1–2 y and 2–3 y (78.89%, 18.86% and 5.80%) and the second year (2013/2014 season) for children 3–4 y and 4–5 y (87.73% and 51.78%). Conclusions: Although yearly fluctuations have been observed, the introduction of vaccination significantly decreased pediatric RVGE hospitalizations and outpatient visits, especially in the age group eligible for vaccination. During the second and third year of subsidization, we observed a herd protection effect on other age groups <5 y who were not eligible for vaccination. Clinicaltrial.gov.registered#:NCT01733862.
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