Rotavirus vaccination programme launched

Children under four months of age are to be vaccinated against rotavirus as part of a new vaccination programme starting this month.

Rotavirus vaccine (Rotarix) is supplied as an oral liquid, with each 1.5ml dose presented in a prefilled oral syringe | SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Rotavirus vaccine (Rotarix) is supplied as an oral liquid, with each 1.5ml dose presented in a prefilled oral syringe | SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Dosing schedule

Rotarix (GlaxoSmithKline) is an oral rotavirus vaccine administered as a two-dose regimen, the first 1.5ml dose given from the age of six weeks. There should be a four-week interval between doses, with the second dose given before 16 weeks of age if possible but not later than 24 weeks.

Potential benefits

According to the Department of Health, rotavirus causes around 140,000 cases of diarrhoea in the under-fives each year, leading to hospital admission for almost 10% of those affected. It is estimated that vaccination against the virus will reduce the number of cases of vomiting and diarrhoea by half, leading to as many as 70% fewer hospital stays as a result.

More information on the programme

View MIMS summary of Routine Childhood Immunisation Schedule

View Rotavirus vaccine drug record

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