Parents in Derbyshire are, for the first time, being given the chance to vaccinate their young babies against Rotavirus.
From 1 July 2013 the vaccine, called Rotarix, is being given to babies born on or after 1 May 2013 at two months of age, and again at three months, at their local GP surgery as part of their routine childhood vaccinations. Rotarix is given as a liquid from a dropper straight into the baby’s mouth.
The vaccine aims to prevent children catching the unpleasant bug, which can cause severe diarrhoea, stomach cramps, vomiting, dehydration and mild fever. Whilst most babies and children recover after three to eight days, each year up to approximately 12,700 children are admitted to hospital for more specialised care and three to four children die from this infection. It is hoped the vaccine will halve the number of rotavirus cases each year and lead to 70 per cent fewer hospital stays.
Linda Syson-nibbs, Consultant Lead for Screening and Immunisation for
NHS England (Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire), said: “Childhood vaccination programmes are essential in preventing unnecessary illness in children and young people. Rotarix is a safe and effective way of protecting your child and saving them from suffering from this highly infectious bug.”
Parents will be offered the vaccine for their child by their GP when they are due their first vaccinations at two months. If you aren’t registered with a GP surgery, find your nearest one at www.nhs.uk.
For more information on rotavirus and Rotarix visit http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vaccinations/Pages/rotavirus-vaccine.aspx