Habilitation colloquium of Dr. Maria Paulke-Korinek – congratulations !
On December 10, 2014, Maria Paulke-Korinek from the Institute of Specific Prophylaxis and Tropical Medicine habilitated with the work "Impact of the Rotavirus-Vaccination Program on Epidemiology and Hospitalization Rates in Children in Austria".
Epidemiological data on vaccine-preventable diseases was analysed in a surveillance network covering all paediatric hospital wards in Austria. The habilitation treatise focuses on the rotavirus mass vaccination program and its impact on epidemiology and hospitalization rates in children in Austria. Within the last years, three manuscripts were published. A reduction of hospitalizations due to rotavirus gastroenteritis in children below 15 years of age between 64% and 79% in the years 2008 to 2011 compared to the prevaccination era was described.
Decreasing rates of hospitalizations due to rotavirus gastroenteritis in children who were too old to get vaccinated against rotavirus gastroenteritis according to their age were a sign of herd protection. Comparably high case numbers in children below 90 days of age show the high importance of starting immunizations against rotavirus gastroenteritis as early as possible. According to the reports collected in the official, mandatory reporting system of the Austrian Ministry of Health, the safety profile of rotavirus vaccines was good with 2.3 reported severe adverse events per 100,000 distributed doses. Further attention should be paid to a change in circulating genotypes in children with disease despite being vaccinated with regard to predominance of the genotype G2P which was present in 69% of the isolates in 2011.
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