Background: Since the introduction of 2 rotavirus (RV) vaccines in Korea, the vaccination rate has reached over 80% with out-of-pocket spending in the private market. We investigated the socioeconomic impact of RV vaccines in Korea to assess their value and public health contribution. Methods: By using National Health Insurance Service claims data, we compared the epidemiologic and economic characteristics of rotavirus gastroenteritis (RVGE) before and after the introduction of RV vaccines. For each year of the study period, the annual prevalence and national costs of RVGE were estimated based on children under 5 years with at least 1 National Health Insurance Service claims record with a diagnosis of RVGE. Results: Compared with the prevaccination period, the prevalence of RVGE decreased in the postvaccination period by 48.9% from 2097 per 100,000 children in 2006 to 1072 per 100,000 children in 2015, implying an increase in the vaccination rate and the prevention effect of the vaccines. The highest reduction was observed among those 12 to <24 months of age (-73.4%), presumably due to the benefit of full vaccination, while children under 2 months, ineligible for the RV vaccine, showed an increase (41.7%). The number of hospitalized RVGE cases per year decreased by 69.0%. The national economic burden of RVGE decreased by 28.6%. Conclusions: The substantial reduction in the socioeconomic burden of RVGE after the introduction of RV vaccines confirms their benefit to society. This study would help health policy makers make empirical decisions on incorporating the vaccination into national immunization programs.
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases