The Sabin Vaccine Institute has been a leader in global health and vaccine advocacy community for many years. One example is our collaboration for the convening of the bi-annual rotavirus symposium that brings together scientists, clinicians, public health professionals, immunization leaders, vaccine industry representatives and donors to share the latest research and progress in the prevention and control of rotavirus, the leading cause of diarrheal hospitalizations and deaths among children worldwide. Last year from 19-21 September this meeting – the Tenth International Rotavirus Symposium – was held in Bangkok, Thailand.

More than 350 scientific, public and private sector experts from 47 countries came together to discuss the disease, including new data on rotavirus burden and epidemiology. Delegates also discussed  the latest results from recent vaccine trials and new research on rotavirus vaccine implementation and usage. The meeting concluded with a debate? about how to translate the wealth of information gathered at the meeting into action to prevent illness and death caused by rotavirus, especially in developing countries where the burden is highest.

With several new rotavirus vaccine introductions, 2012 represents great progress – there are a record number of countries with rotavirus vaccination programs. . To share the outcomes from the meeting, the committee prepared a short summary for publication in Expert Review of Vaccines. The summary provides technical details from the meeting along with a history of and lessons learned from rotavirus vaccination programs. The full meeting proceedings are under development and will be available soon at www.sabin.org.

The summary, published earlier this month, can be viewed here.

Of interest, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently issued a new rotavirus position paper that recommends removing the age restriction (the current vaccine schedule requires two doses of rotavirus vaccine to be administered no later than 32 weeks after birth) where disease burden is high and delays in vaccinations and deaths from rotavirus are common. This position was discussed at length at the Tenth International Rotavirus Symposium.

Photo by Graham Colm