Babies to get 'gut bug vaccine'


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

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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.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 149.

    #85 Universaldust, my grandmother had a bathroom including WC in her house that was built in the 1900's, we had a bathroom built on our house in the 1960's, whereas our house built in the 1930's had them separate. Also to go from WC in one room to the bathroom in another means that the door handles of two rooms are contaminated. Just consider the anatomical position of the birth canal!

  • rate this

    Comment number 148.

    @101, Underclass Underdog,

    Irresponsible, if we all did that, what would happen, I think it is you who have been brainwashed by the anti-vaccination lot who, by the way, generally aren't trained to understand the intricacies of vaccines before they spout their nonsense, how is erradicating life-threatening diseases a bad thing?

  • rate this

    Comment number 147.

    Throughout history, there's been irrational opposition to industrialisation, trains, nuclear power, vaccines, mobile phones, GM technology, stem cell research... in fact, pretty much every advancement in technology or science. Can anybody give me an example where the Luddites were later proved correct?

  • rate this

    Comment number 146.

    When Dave was "elected" didn't he state he was rolling back the Nanny state? Yet here we are, being told what to do with our own children.

    139. dazednconfused

    The level of stupidity demonstrated on this forum is breathtaking. Without any form of proof or evidence, people will just rush off wily nilly to do as their Gov masters bid.

    This government lies.

  • rate this

    Comment number 145.

    This is excellent news for children, the families and paediatric units and nursing staff. I was a paeds nurse for 12 years, and during certain times of the year, almost every child entering A&E has Rotavirus. All need to be isolated, which means less beds for other infectious chiildren. It is also a nasty, draining virus that can be difficult to treat. It is WELL worth the money for a vaccine.

  • rate this

    Comment number 144.

    It is very worrying, all these drugs.The true path of human evolution cannot and will not cater for "prop-ups".Science is trying to preserve us but you cannot intercept nature at such deep levels.Forgive me for philosophizing but if you take something from nature then other organic processes therby manifest themselves.We cannot keep playing God with doing what we feel is stimulating progression.

  • rate this

    Comment number 143.

    Amazed the Goverment is stumping up for this ?? would have thought they would wish to see a higher infant mortality rate !! Then they wouldnt have to pay pensions out at the other end of the lifecycle..!

  • rate this

    Comment number 142.

    why on earth does this article have a HYS section? absolutely pointless, just inviting people yet more daily mail readers to give 'their reckons' on vaccination and a complicated healthcare decision incorporating elements of public health, evidence-based-medicine, healthcare service provision, molecular and immunobiology without demonstrating any understanding or experience of the issues involved

  • rate this

    Comment number 141.

    It's a bit worrying how little people know about vaccines. Vaccines will usually expose the individual to a dead or inert strain of the virus, causing the body to produce an immune response, which takes time. When the vaccinated person is subsequently exposed to the virus the immune system recognises it and responds almost immediately. Vaccines do not stop other immune responses. Vaccines are good

  • rate this

    Comment number 140.

    "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.

    Not mentioned, are drug companys profits & who else financially profits as part of setting up this NHS deal. Also, whos overseeing all the many many thousands of new supply deals that new GPs NHS system will require

  • rate this

    Comment number 139.

    The level of ignorance on this forum is breathtaking. Some of you know nothing of Microbiology or Epidemiology yet you insist on making bold statements such as 'the swine flu vaccine caused more deaths than the disease'. This vaccine is optional, if you insist on wallowing in ignorance dont vaccinate your children. I feel sorry for them. MPs probably spend >25mill on train fares this year!

  • rate this

    Comment number 138.

    After watching our 2 year old son suffer in hospital - in ICU - with this virus for 2 weeks. I fully support this vaccine. If we can prevent this we should! It's not just a virus, it's a potential killer, we almost lost our boy to this and were exceedingly lucky (according to the doctors) that there was no permanent brain damage! So you tell me, and my son, that the vaccine isn't worth it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 137.

    This is what happens when you live in a crowded planet with people travelling all over the world ... when people don't bother to wash their hands ... and don't quarantine themselves when ill.

    Of course, being stuck in a house watching TV etc and the over use of antibacterials etc don't exactly help with a young child building up a natural immune system.

  • rate this

    Comment number 136.

    @Billy: all the parents off work for several days looking after their children may well cost the economy more than £5 million. And natural immunity will improve with vaccination - that's how vaccinations work.

  • rate this

    Comment number 135.

    Why is this government so adamant it wants the serfs to live longer by enforcing vaccines upon them, yet at the same time, they are removing all income from the serfs, in complete contradiction to what they are initially setting out to do? If we cant fund people now, what hope have we got of funding a heck of a lot more people, in the near future?

    This is madness.

    Overpopulation, our undoing.

  • rate this

    Comment number 134.

    Underclass Underdog

    Could you provide a peer reviewed case study that shows that the swine flu vaccine has killed more than the illness? I did a search for "Swine Flu vaccine kills" and guess what? The first result was from the Daily Mail.

  • rate this

    Comment number 133.

    The problem I find is the lack of information from health professionals about vaccines. They are run like a production line, you receive your letter, you attend, you are in and out the nurses office within 2 minutes. You couldn't even speak to the doctor about it if there was time!

    I can only assume they are paid per injection. They soon find time to badger smokers. Paid per nicotine patch?

  • rate this

    Comment number 132.

    Two things stand out. "Rotavirus infection is rarely fatal in the UK". "It is expected to cost £25m...will save the NHS £20m."

    So we are spending £25 million to save £20 million for a condition that is very rarely fatal anyway? Where is the sense in that?

  • rate this

    Comment number 131.

    123. Anglerfish

    This government are making people destitute faster than Gideot jumps a speeding train ticket. Let this continue and every one of the diseases we managed to eradicate, will come back, strong as ever. Are you naive enough to think they wont?

    They also said this about swine flu. in reality, the S.F vaccination is responsible for a far higher number of deaths than the disease is


  • rate this

    Comment number 130.

    I would be interested to know the scientific background of the people spouting tabloid paranoia on here about vaccination. All this talk of 'natural immunity is best' and 'overloading the immune system'. The immune system is capable to identifying millions of antigens from countless microorganisms. Vaccines are designed to stimulate the immune system in the same way as an infection would.


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