Rotavirus Vaccine in India:
Rotavirus is a virus that infects the bowels. It is the most common cause of severe diarrhea among infants and children throughout the world and causes the death of about 600,000 children worldwide annually. The name rotavirus comes from the characteristic wheel-like appearance of the virus when viewed by electron microscopy (the name rotavirus is derived from the Latin rota, meaning “wheel”).
The time period from initial infection to symptoms (incubation period) for rotavirus disease is around two days. Symptoms of the disease include fever, vomiting, and watery diarrhea. Abdominal pain may also occur, and infected children may have profuse watery diarrhea up to several times per day. Symptoms generally persist for three to nine days. Immunity from repeated infection is incomplete after a rotavirus infection, but repeated infections tend to be less severe than the original infection
Rotavirus is the main cause of severe diarrhea in preschoolers and leads to 500,000 diarrhoeal deaths and 2 million hospitalisations a year.
When to advocate Rota vaccine?
1) Do not start the rotavirus vaccine series before 6 weeks of age.
2) Do not start the rotavirus vaccine series after a child has reached 14 weeks, 6 days. In other words, if the child is 15 weeks of age do not start the rotavirus series, because of insufficient data on the safety of the 1st dose in older infants.
3) Do not give any dose of rotavirus vaccine after a child reaches 8 months of age (8 months, 0 days) because of insufficient data on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine in infants this age.