Rotavirus Vaccine - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/20/03

Rotavirus Vaccine

It's a potentially life-threatening infection that almost all kids get before the age of five, but researchers are in the final stages of testing an experimental vaccine that could wipe out Rotavirus, which is also one of the most contagious childhood diseases.

Before final trials end next spring, more than 65,000 babies, in addition to those who've already been tested, will have had either a placebo or the experimental vaccine.

"This is the longest studied vaccine that I've seen, and we've now studied it in over 57,000 babies and we haven't seen any side effects at all," says Dr. Keith Ransey, pediatrician.

Rotavirus is the #1 cause of infant hospitalizations in this country because the diarrhea and vomiting can go on for several weeks, leading to dehydration.

Internationally, it kills 600,000 to 800,000 babies every year, so that's why the CDC is set on getting rid of Rotavirus.

If these final trials look good, the Food and Drug Administration will most likely approve the vaccine for all children as part of their regular immunization package sometime next year.

The trials will continue into next summer.

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