The Department of Health has announced that rotavirus vaccine will be added to the childhood vaccination programme with effect from September 2013.
Rotavirus is reported as causing approximately 140,000 cases of diarrhoea per year in the children under 5 years old. Of these some 14,000 cases result in a hospital admission. It is expected that the introduction of this vaccine will reduce hospital admissions by up to 70%. The vaccine is a live oral vaccine and two doses are recommended.
The JCVI statement recommending the vaccine provides further analysis and detail.
Action: Clinicians involved in the delivery of the child immunisations should be aware of this change. More information about this vaccine should be expected before September 2013.