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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  • Comment number 369.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 368.

    GlaxoSmithKline produce this vaccine

    GSK to pay $3bn in largest healthcare fraud settlement in US history.

    GSK pleaded guilty to promoting 2 drugs for unapproved uses & failing to report safety data about a diabetes drug to the FDA. The case concerns 10 drugs, including Paxil, Wellbutrin, Avandia & Advair

    Our future in their hands?!!.

  • rate this

    Comment number 367.

    363. Anglerfish

    Measles is a different case altogether. The only case where Measles is dangerous is for low levels of Vitamin A. Measles is dangerous to malnourished children. It is in the best interest of everyone else to catch Measles as it toughens up the immune system and has been shown to leave one resilient to various forms of Cancer.

    MMR kills more children than Measles would.

  • rate this

    Comment number 366.

    364.David Cohen
    6 Minutes ago
    356. Anglerfish

    They renamed Polio to make it look like a success. Even the official website of the WHO admits that the oral Polio vaccine can cause Polio, this is well known, it's even been in BBC News articles before.

    What name do they use now to hide the leg irons that children won from Polio when I was a lad?

  • rate this

    Comment number 365.

    Smallpox eradicate; poliomyelitis next; babies no longer born deaf and blind because of rubella virus; hepatitis B no longer a danger to healthcare workers; hepatitis A no longer a problem for travellers, yellow fever - the most successful vaccine ever. Now we need one for malaria (biggest killer), and HIV (of course). Vaccination is the by far the greatest life-extending discovery in history.

  • rate this

    Comment number 364.

    356. Anglerfish

    They renamed Polio to make it look like a success. Even the official website of the WHO admits that the oral Polio vaccine can cause Polio, this is well known, it's even been in BBC News articles before.

    Here's more on how they hide Polio by renaming it to make vaccination programs look like a success

  • rate this

    Comment number 363.

    358 David Cohen

    If the efficacy of vaccination is based on belief like religion how do you explain the polio results. Or:

    Measles in USA 1966 400,000 cases
    Vaccination approved in USA 1967
    1969 8200 cases
    2011 56 cases.

    So your cause and effect explanation is ..?

  • rate this

    Comment number 362.

    354 David Cohen - People's opinion of others often reflects their own personality. So would you say that if you were in charge of a pharmaceutical company, that you'd deliberately try and make people ill in order to profit from it?

  • rate this

    Comment number 361.

    5 Minutes ago
    i suggest people stick to things they know about, such as the moon landings conspiracy!!


    There's an even better one - apparently finding samples with aluminium flake paint and red oxide paint "proved" that thermite was used on WTC.

  • rate this

    Comment number 360.

    358.David Cohen
    2 Minutes ago
    353. Anglerfish

    I've been researching for many years, like you I used to believe the vaccination myths.


    Whare do you do your research? What papers have you published on it?

  • rate this

    Comment number 359.

    There are too many people who dont have a clue about vaccinology giving opinions from what they read in the tabloids! The people who are in charge of deciding the vaccination schedule are experts and are fully informed of the immunological mechanisms, safety profiles and clinical development of this vaccine so i suggest people stick to things they know about, such as the moon landings conspiracy!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 358.

    353. Anglerfish

    I've been researching for many years, like you I used to believe the vaccination myths. Vaccines are like religion, they are based on belief. The 'science' is not independent, and in the rare cases that the science is independent e.g.Internationally Renowned Cochrane Collaboration, they say that the vaccines are not proven to be either safe or effective, as with Flu Vaccines.

  • rate this

    Comment number 357.

    348.David Cohen
    26 Minutes ago
    - Let's all pretend that vaccines are 100% safe and not killing babies and causing autoimmune diseases.

    - Let's all pretend that the Pharmaceuticals are not for profit and prioritise human health over profit.


    Let's pretend that selling water that has "memory" of a solute is not a way of fleecing the mugs. No, that's much too hard.

  • rate this

    Comment number 356.


    1988 cases of polio resulting in death or paralysis worldwide ... 300,000+

    1989 worldwide polio vaccination programme introduced

    2012 cases of polio resulting death or paralysis worldwide ... 58 up to May

    How has this happened, I wonder, if the polio vaccine causes polio.

  • rate this

    Comment number 355.

    Try Googling Vaccination successes! "Polio: Before polio vaccine was available, the U.S. had 50,000 polio cases a year, including 13,000 to 20,000 cases of paralytic polio."

  • rate this

    Comment number 354.

    The major problem is that Vaccines represent a huge and serious conflict of interest.

    How can anyone trust the Pharmaceuticals to inject healthy babies? The Pharms benefit when we are sick, they do not want a healthy nation. It is not in their interests to inject us with something that will make us healthy.

    They've already been caught putting HIV and Carcinogens in Vaccines; the trust is gone.

  • rate this

    Comment number 353.

    351 David Cohen

    Try Googling 'Vaccination Myths'. You'll find all your points dealt with.

  • rate this

    Comment number 352.

    333 Piggy
    "Not an exact science is it?"

    No, I never claimed it was. It's by far the best system we've ever had though and does account for risk categories. Even penicillin can be fatal to some, but far more would die without it.

    341 mollocate
    "For one it is a very short history"
    Before that, we had anecdotal evidence, which was sure that bloodletting & sacrafice worked.
    I'll stick with science.

  • rate this

    Comment number 351.

    349. Anglerfish

    - Salk himself testified before a senate that the Polio was coming from the oral polio vaccines; it was the vaccines causing the Polio.

    - Flu Vaccines are causing Alzheimer's and Dementia, as has been shown by the world's leading immunologist HUGH FUDENBURG, MD.

    - The BCG (TB) Vaccine was introduced AFTER the major decline in TB.

    - The only true success is Small Pox

  • rate this

    Comment number 350.

    First, it's called rotavirus, not rotovirus. This vaccine has been successfully used in many countries for years - including the US. It's about time the UK realised that this, at least unpleasant and at worst life-threatening infection, can be prevented. A saving of £20 million is an underestimate -the social costs of this nasty infection - parents' time off work etc - are amount to much more.


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