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.

Distress

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

Comments

This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
 
  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 289.

    Tough one. I think other American evidence shows that after the first (likely bad) episode, rotavirus is never that bad, so clear evidence of a great immune response. My own two kids are evidence of this. However, half way through our 10 day stint of showering muck of unfortunate little ones 2-3 times a day last year, I thought longingly of the American vaccination program against rota virus...

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 288.

    Scientists are not 'hellbent' nor think we are above others. However scientists such as myself dedicate their entire career to research, some doctors I work with having 35+ years research experience with rotavirus! This vaccine will be beneficial - parents have a choice but should read all scientific literature and make sure they understand it before making ill informed judgements.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 287.

    286. Anglerfish
    You seem to under the rather strange misapprehension that polio, TB etc. are solely diseases of children. Still given your distaste maybe next time you need a doctor you could insist on one who has never been a child.
    +++
    I don't dislike children just their money grabbing hands out parents.

    Do you have children? Are you a gross tax contributor?

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 286.

    283 BNP-UKIP

    ' ... whatever way you put it we end up paying for other peoples kids, its a disgrace.'

    You seem to under the rather strange misapprehension that polio, TB etc. are solely diseases of children. Still given your distaste maybe next time you need a doctor you could insist on one who has never been a child.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 285.

    Rotavirus is not the only virus that causes diarrhea and vomiting. There's also noravirus, enterovirus, adenovirus... All of these can be successfully treated with probiotics.

    Agree with Billy: spend 25m to save 20? Smells of giving public funds to private pharmaceutical companies. And then they are going to cut even more hospital beds because "fewer people are hospitalised with diarrhea".

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 284.

    277.JoeTheTrueProgressiveLiberal
    17 Minutes ago
    Trading some vomiting now for unknown future side effects that could include death seems like a bad trade to me.

    Does the UK force you to get a doctor's signature like in California (TY AB2109) to say no to vaccines?

    +++

    Oxygen Dihydride is present in everybody who has died, but there is still a massive industry pushing it.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 283.

    278. Anglerfish
    All gross tax contributors I guess. Obviously avoiding the suffering of others, especially children, isn't a priority for you so work out how much would need to be spent on treatment given the return of polio, TB, whooping cough and rubella blinded babies.
    +++
    Spot on, whatever way you put it we end up paying for other peoples kids, its a disgrace.

  • rate this
    -6

    Comment number 282.

    Scientists seem hell-bent on preventing people choosing what happens to their children.

    They seem to think that people are too stupid to understand and that on Scientists "know". It's beginning to sound religious.

    The billions of dollars involved in the industry doesn't seem to cause them any concerns - well that's money for you.

    How has science turned into a force against democracy ?!

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 281.

    In re to 3rd world countries PBS show on rural midwives in India & change to western birthing centers showed the Rural midwives denied the child the first mothers milk after birth which transfers the richest immunity to the child & gave the baby water while waiting for the milk to clear - less immunity. So tradition plays a part in their high infant mortality.

  • rate this
    -6

    Comment number 280.

    Go back to sleep sheeple. Consume, and let your mind die whilst watching x factor etc. you will be told what to believe

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 279.

    272 RAW5 - Just Googled him. He also claims microwave ovens are dangerous: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/05/18/microwave-hazards.aspx
    He appears to confuse them with nuclear weapons. Easy mistake.

    More offensively, he also doesn't believe in AIDS. That's Holocaust-denial levels of stupidity.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 278.

    275. BNP-UKIP

    'Who's going to pay for all these vaccines? Oh that's right, us single, childless gross tax contributors.'

    All gross tax contributors I guess. Obviously avoiding the suffering of others, especially children, isn't a priority for you so work out how much would need to be spent on treatment given the return of polio, TB, whooping cough and rubella blinded babies.

  • rate this
    -6

    Comment number 277.

    Trading some vomiting now for unknown future side effects that could include death seems like a bad trade to me.

    Does the UK force you to get a doctor's signature like in California (TY AB2109) to say no to vaccines?

  • rate this
    -5

    Comment number 276.

    Are we a democracy ?

    It is clear by the comments here that people are skeptical ... especially by the financial and political pressures leveraged by the billion dollar Big Pharma brigade.

    Can we accept the right for people to say NO ?

    Can we accept peoples' views and let them speak for themselves rather than having an "Editors Picks". Why have it ? It is undemocratic.

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 275.

    Who's going to pay for all these vaccines? Oh that's right, us single, childless gross tax contributors.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 274.

    189. Quo Vadis 'A child can catch it from another as they pass each other sat in supermarket trolleys'

    My supermarket has free anti-bacterial wipes so you can wipe down the cart before you touch it - or after if you or your child is sick.

    I used them liberally along when I had the flu and had to get more meds/juice/oranges so I would not give the virus to anyone else.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 273.

    It's a pound to a penny that there will be a market for alternatives just as there was generated to sell private MMR immunisation.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 272.

    There have been a number of articles /interviews about the rotavirus vaccine on the Dr Mercola website.
    www.mercola.com website.

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 271.

    I work within a university group who are experts on rotavirus - I assure you that rotavirus is worth preventing - millions of children die. Medication isn't given to the public without background research, clinical trials and rigorous scrutinisation. By all means read the independent studies but I would be surprised if non-scientists understood the clinical relevance of any of the literature.

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 270.

    DUHDUHDUH.
    Our immune systems work in different ways.Is this/that Genetics or God.

 

Page 5 of 19

 

More Health stories

RSS

Features

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.