Rotavirus: Scots babies to be vaccinated

Rotaviruses  is the most common cause of severe diarrhoea in children. Picture: submitted
Rotaviruses is the most common cause of severe diarrhoea in children. Picture: submitted
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ALL Scottish babies born from May are to be offered a vaccination against the stomach bug causing rotavirus.

The virus causes severe diarrhoea and vomiting in infants and can lead to hospital treatment.

It is highly contagious and can affect about 140,000 infants in the UK every year, according to government statistics.

The introduction of the vaccine follows a recommendation of the joint committee on vaccination and immunisation.

It will be part of the existing childhood immunisation programme, mainly given in doctor’s surgeries. A two-dose vaccine will be offered to all babies aged two months, and again at three months when they attend for their first and second routine childhood immunisations.

Public health minister Michael Matheson said: “The 
rotavirus vaccine has already been given safely to millions of babies around the world.

“In Scotland, about 1,200 babies have to go to hospital every year due to severe diarrhoea and vomiting caused by rotavirus, and in some of the most serious cases that can result in a hospital stay.

“The vaccine will not only protect tens of thousands of children from the effects of rotavirus every year, it will cut down on the anxiety of hospital stays for parents and children.”