FRIDAY, JUNE 22, 2018

Rotavirus vaccination may also protect children against seizures

A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was recently published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, and revealed that administering the rotavirus vaccine to children may also reduce the risk of seizures.

The study included approximately a quarter of a million children in the United States born between March 2006 and November 2009. The children were enrolled in the Vaccine Safety Datalink, which collects data for vaccine safety research and included 186,502 children who were fully immunized against rotavirus and 64,099 who were not.

Research showed that children who received the rotavirus immunization had an approximately 20 percent reduced risk of seizure-related hospitalization and medical attention during the year following vaccination.

"The protective association we found between rotavirus vaccination and seizures is another good reason for having your child fully vaccinated against rotavirus," Daniel Payne, study author and researcher at the CDC, said.

Researchers said that several variants could explain the association, with the most likely being that "vaccination directly prevents systemic rotavirus infection, including extra-intestinal complications involving the central nervous system."

Researchers estimated that rotavirus vaccination could save more than $7 million in U.S. health care annually by preventing hospitalizations and emergency room visits among young children.

"Caring for children who have seizures can be expensive and emotionally taxing for families," Payne said. "Seizures sometimes lead to painful procedures, medication regimens, trips to the emergency room, or hospital stays."