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Rotavirus Vaccination Drive

  • 16 Jul 2019
  • 3 min read

The government of India is set to launch a rotavirus vaccine drive across all states and Union territories by September 2019.

Rotavirus

  • Rotavirus can cause diarrohea, which can lead to dehydration (not having enough water in the body).
  • Rotavirus is a contagious disease that spreads easily from child to child.
  • Rotavirus spreads when a person comes in contact with the feces of someone who has rotavirus and then touches their own mouth. For example, rotavirus can spread when a child with rotavirus doesn’t wash their hands properly after going to the bathroom and then touches food or other objects.
  • Symptoms
    • Severe diarrhea
    • Throwing up
    • Dehydration
    • Fever
    • Stomach pain
  • World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that the first dose of rotavirus vaccine be administered as soon as possible after 6 weeks of age, along with DTP vaccination (diptheria, tetanus and pertussis).
  • WHO has recommended the inclusion of rotavirus vaccine in the National Schedules of the countries where under five mortality due to diarrhoeal diseases is more than 10%.
  • Currently, two vaccines are available against rotavirus:
    • Rotarix (GlaxoSmithKline): is a monovalent vaccine recommended to be orally administered in two doses at 6-12 weeks.
    • Rota Teq (Merck) is a pentavalent vaccine recommended to be orally administered in three doses starting at 6-12 weeks of age.

Monovalent vaccine and Pentavalent vaccine

  • Monovalent vaccines are designed to immunize against a single antigen or single microorganism.
  • Pentavalent vaccine provides protection to a child from five life-threatening diseases – Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Hepatitis B and Haemophilus Influenzae type b (Hib).
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