Babies to get 'gut bug vaccine'


Prof David Salisbury, Director of Immunisation, DoH: "We expect this will save around £20m"

Related Stories

Babies in the UK are to be vaccinated against a tummy bug which causes tens of thousands of cases of vomiting and diarrhoea each year.

Rotavirus infection is rarely fatal in the UK.

Using the vaccine has cut cases and reduced hospital admissions in other countries, including the US.

The Department of Health said the vaccine would be offered from September 2013 and would be given in two doses after two and three months.

Childhood vaccines

Two months

  • Five-in-one: first dose for diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio and Haemophilus influenzae type b jab
  • Pneumococcal infection
  • Rotavirus from September 2013

Three months

  • Second five-in-one
  • Meningitis C
  • Second rotavirus from September 2013

Four months

  • Third five-in-one
  • Second Pneumococcal infection
  • Second meningitis C

One year

  • MMR
  • Third Pneumococcal infection
  • Booster for Haemophilus influenzae type b and meningitis C

Source: NHS Choices

The bug is very infectious and causes about 140,000 cases every year in the under-fives. About 14,000 will need hospital treatment.

Experts believe that vaccination would cut the number of cases in half and lead to 70% fewer hospital visits.


Prof David Salisbury, the director of immunisation at the Department of Health, said the virus "spreads very easily" and causes distress for children and families.

"Many people think of diarrhoea as something that all children get and that you have to put up with. But there is a way to protect children from this. I'd encourage all parents of young children to accept this vaccine when the programme begins next year."

He added the vaccine - which is administered in drops - had been "used very extensively" with "huge trials demonstrating both its safety and its effectiveness".

It is expected to cost £25m a year to vaccinate 840,000 children a year. However, the government believes cutting the number of cases will save the NHS £20m.

Prof Adam Finn, from the University of Bristol, said: "Rotavirus causes large epidemics of diarrhoea and vomiting in babies and young children every winter and with it, misery for thousands of families across the country.

"I'm pleased that another unpleasant illness that affects most children is going to be brought under control. It will also help hospitals cope in the busy winter months by reducing pressure on beds and front-line staff."

Dr David Elliman, from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said the vaccine would prevent a "huge amount of suffering" and save the NHS money.

"This vaccine will mean less pressure both on distressed parents who have to care for their children and of course the GPs and hospital services who are treating them," he said.


More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 109.

    As many have said this is a hygiene problem. When I go into male toilets whilst I'm washing my hands usually 4 out of 5 other men will walk straight past and walk out without washing hands, whilst using the door handles, hugging their kids,shaking hands etc. It's disgusting really. This doesn't mean use alcohol wipes all over your kid as they will get ridiculously ill, just teach good hygiene!

  • rate this

    Comment number 108.

    With all these austerity measures, it won't be long before we see all the old deadly diseases, that affect both the rich and the poor, resurface. The Gated Gestapo communities are terrified of this. So they have hastily cobbled together allsorts of vaccines in a vain attempt to avoid what they know is on it's way.

    The polio virus doesn't discern between rich or poor. Nor does typhoid.

  • rate this

    Comment number 107.

    My son who is now 19 months old has had this virus and it is horrible im glad that there is a vaccine for this its never nice to see your young ones suffer, any vaccine that works for any diesease is welcome.

  • rate this

    Comment number 106.

    >Weare Just Universaldust
    >Best way to avoid Rotavirus is HYGENE. Its basically transmitted from
    >DISCUSTING modern behaviour
    >To get Rotaviru, you have to swallow faecial particles (poo particles),
    >thats how it is passed/transmitted

    And make sure you avoid osculation... sucking on a tube full of aforementioned contents at the other end.

    You've already swallowed the particles!

  • rate this

    Comment number 105.

    101. Underclass Underdog

    'Both of my children have never had any Gov incentive vaccinations ... neither of my children ever gets sick'

    Maybe they would get sick they weren't surrounded by people who have been vaccinated, because the reservoir of infection would be much, much greater if everybody took your line.

  • rate this

    Comment number 104.

    94. ChubbyPandas

    I couldn't agree more, The thing is, the rich elite and swollen middle are terrified that Johnny T Pleb's kids will contract a disease (after being targeted by austerity cuts to the point of homelessness)that will be able to penetrate their gated communities and destroy them a lot more effectively than the angry prejudiced mobs will. Ergo, their infatuation with vaccination.

  • rate this

    Comment number 103.

    @48 Drunken Hobo

    I put it in inverted commas as I was quoting myself. That was the word I used, okay?

    This health professional was telling me to inject my child with something, but could not answer my questions and STILL hasn't. Yes, chemistry should be compulsory, especially for midwives & health visitors.

  • rate this

    Comment number 102.

    Poor hygiene is to blame but when a majority of adults do not wash their hands after using the toilet what do you expect.
    If this can save more money than it is currently costing to look after and make the people who get this sickness better then surely it has to be a good thing.
    I have come to the conclusion people will never wash hands properly. Some people are just disgusting.

  • rate this

    Comment number 101.

    Both of my children have never had any Gov incentive vaccinations. Despite being unemployed, now, and living in a flop area, neither of my children ever gets sick, besides a bit of flu around this time which lasts a few days at most. Like all, I received the Swine Flu judgement day epidemic leaflet through my door. Instead of believe what Elite Gov wanted, I binned it, my kids are both fine.

  • rate this

    Comment number 100.


    Agreed,Its very sad but true.Thats nature for you.

  • rate this

    Comment number 99.

    To get Rotaviru, you have to swallow faecial particles (poo particles), thats how it is passed/transmitted.
    Babies & elderly with low imune systems are easy prey for ANY bug/virus.

    Simple advice for hygene -
    RE-BUILD the walls between toilets/bathrooms keep them seperate DO NOT mix/share hygene control, LOL, with CONTAMINATED excrement/urine area.

    Some things, are just common sense!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 98.

    >85. Weare Just Universaldust
    >Years ago, toilets were seperate from elsewhere for a REASON,
    >because human excrement is DANGEROUS to health.

    If you look into the science you'll find that is cr*p.

  • rate this

    Comment number 97.

    I don't recall my children getting anything like this when they were young. What I find disturbing about the necessity of the vaccine is the absence of natural resistance to such infections which children normally acquire as they go through the process of growing up. Are we in danger of creating a situation that will only make matters worse instead of better?

  • rate this

    Comment number 96.

    Re 88. With greatest respect Thailand is not Great Britain and I would suspect Thailand has many issues surrounding the purification of drinking water and fecal contamination that the UK does not. As 92 stated its about hygiene being the key to prevention in this case, not another vaccine.

  • rate this

    Comment number 95.

    If you wanted to know how a vaccine worked what would you do? Even with scientific training you could not access most of the peer-reviewed literature without spending a fortune. How many independent academics are left these days? How many scientists could get up and say, let's check that drug and see what it really contains and whether or not the mechanism is valid, without a grant to do so?

  • Comment number 94.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 93.

    74 RAW5 - You're not a very good industrial chemist then. Thiomersal is a mercury-containing compound and is massively different to mercury. You could also say that table salt contains a highly flammable metal (Na), and a noxious gas (Cl), but that would be ignoring the very foundations of chemistry.
    Thiomersal also "contains" benzene, but of course it doesn't, it just contains a phenylene group.

  • rate this

    Comment number 92.

    Rotavirus is LARGELY a hygene issue, when pathogens in fecal particles from one host are introduced into the oral cavity of another potential host.

    If you conduct a hygene survey majority of people will say they wash their hands after toilet, collected/observed evidence proves MOST are LIARS.

    If MORE people just washed their hands PROPERLY after toilet, NHS would save £BILLIONS

  • rate this

    Comment number 91.

    Rotavirus causes violent, copious and uncontrollable vomiting and diarrhoea, and lasts for two weeks - it is FAR worse than most vomiting bugs. Once one person in your household has it there's no avoiding it, good hygiene or not.

    Quite right to vaccinate against it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 90.

    There needs to be more research transparency and accountability, how else can we ever expect to have public trust in biomedical science? Side effects of vaccines are real, though usually infrequent and minor, and I am not saying that people should not vaccinate, what I am saying is that we need a better system to build-up trust and more easily root-out fraud. The current system is not good enough.


Page 14 of 19


More Health stories



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.