A rotavirus vaccine protects children from rotaviruses, which are the leading cause of severe diarrhoea among infants and young children. Each year an estimated 453,000 children die from diarrhoeal disease caused by rotavirus, most of whom live in developing countries, and another two million are hospitalised. Rotavirus is highly contagious and resistant and, regardless of water quality and available sanitation, nearly every child in the world is at risk of infection.
There are two effective rotavirus vaccines: Rotarix by GlaxoSmithKline and RotaTeq by Merck. The development of a vaccine called Rotavac that is intended to be offered at lower cost than the others was announced in India in 2013, and has been tested in Phase III trials.
On June 5, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended that rotavirus vaccine be included in all national immunization programs. The Rotavirus Vaccine Program and the Accelerated Vaccine Introduction initiative have worked to study rotavirus vaccines among developing-country populations to assist developing countries in introducing rotavirus vaccines into routine immunization programs. These partnerships are spearheaded by international non-governmental organization PATH, WHO, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization. It is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, a list of the most important medication needed in a basic health system.
Rota Virus vaccine (Rotarix) now available FREE OF CHARGE to the public.