A strategy of administering a neonatal rotavirus vaccine at birth to target early prevention of rotavirus gastroenteritis may address some of the barriers to global implementation of a rotavirus vaccine.
We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in Indonesia to evaluate the efficacy of an oral human neonatal rotavirus vaccine (RV3-BB) in preventing rotavirus gastroenteritis. Healthy newborns received three doses of RV3-BB, administered according to a neonatal schedule (0 to 5 days, 8 weeks, and 14 weeks of age) or an infant schedule (8 weeks, 14 weeks, and 18 weeks of age), or placebo. The primary analysis was conducted in the per-protocol population, which included only participants who received all four doses of vaccine or placebo within the visit windows, with secondary analyses performed in the intention-to-treat population, which included all participants who underwent randomization.
Among the 1513 participants in the per-protocol population, severe rotavirus gastroenteritis occurred up to the age of 18 months in 5.6% of the participants in the placebo group (28 of 504 babies), in 1.4% in the neonatal-schedule vaccine group (7 of 498), and in 2.7% in the infant-schedule vaccine group (14 of 511). This resulted in a vaccine efficacy of 75% (95% confidence interval [CI], 44 to 91) in the neonatal-schedule group (P<0.001), 51% (95% CI, 7 to 76) in the infant-schedule group (P=0.03), and 63% (95% CI, 34 to 80) in the neonatal-schedule and infant-schedule groups combined (combined vaccine group) (P<0.001). Similar results were observed in the intention-to-treat analysis (1649 participants); the vaccine efficacy was 68% (95% CI, 35 to 86) in the neonatal-schedule group (P=0.001), 52% (95% CI, 11 to 76) in the infant-schedule group (P=0.02), and 60% (95% CI, 31 to 76) in the combined vaccine group (P<0.001). Vaccine response, as evidenced by serum immune response or shedding of RV3-BB in the stool, occurred in 78 of 83 participants (94%) in the neonatal-schedule group and in 83 of 84 participants (99%) in the infant-schedule group. The incidence of adverse events was similar across the groups. No episodes of intussusception occurred within the 21-day risk period after administration of any dose of vaccine or placebo, and one episode of intussusception occurred 114 days after the third dose of vaccine in the infant-schedule group.
RV3-BB was efficacious in preventing severe rotavirus gastroenteritis when administered according to a neonatal or an infant schedule in Indonesia. (Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and others; Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry number, ACTRN12612001282875 .).