Decline in rotavirus hospitalizations following the first three years of vaccination in Castile-La Mancha, Spain.
Vaccination has reduced rotavirus hospitalizations by 25% in European regions with low-moderate vaccine availability. We aimed to quantify the reduction in hospital costs after the longest period in which Rotarix® and Rotateq® were simultaneously commercially available in Spain. Cases, length of stay (LOS), and diagnosis-related groups (DRGs) were retrieved from the Minimum Basic Data Set. Healthcare expenditure was estimated through the cost accounting system Gescot®. DRGs were clustered: I, non-bacterial gastroenteritis with complications; II, without complications; III, requiring surgical/other procedures or neonatal cases (highest DRG weights). Comparisons between pre (2003-2005)- and post-vaccine (2007-2009) hospital stays and costs by DRG group were made. Rotaviruses were the most common agents of specific-coded gastroenteritis (N = 1657/5012). LOS and extended LOS of rotaviruses fell significantly in 2007-2009 (β-coefficient = -0·43, 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) -0·68 to -0·17; and odds ratio 0·62, 95% CI 0·50-0·76, respectively). Overall, costs attributable to rotavirus hospitalizations fell approximately €244 per patient (95% CI -365 to -123); the decrease in DRG group III was €2269 per patient (95% CI -4098 to -380). We concluded modest savings in hospital costs, largely attributable to cases with higher DRG weights, and a faster recovery. A universal rotavirus vaccination program deserves being re-evaluated, regarding its potential high impact on both at-risk children and societal costs.