Around 675,000 babies at the age of two and three months will be offered the oral vaccine Rotarix to prevent them contracting gastroenteritis as of today.
This vaccination will be offered to babies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to protect them against the vomiting and diarrhoea bug which is highly infectious.
Rotavirus infection causes 130,000 visits to GP surgeries and 13,000 hospitalisations (for dehydration) every year in England. Officials hope the vaccine will halve the number of rotavirus cases and cut hospital stays by 70%.
Rotavirus infection is the most common cause of gastroenteritis in children under five. And as mums know, nearly every child gets it at some point in their young lives.
Scotland introduced a rotavirus vaccine in May.
It has been reported on GP Online that Dr Paul Cosford, director for health protection and medical director at Public Health England, said: ‘The new vaccine will provide protection to those young babies who are most vulnerable to complications arising from rotavirus. From now on parents will be offered this protection alongside their baby’s other childhood vaccinations.’
Dr Cosford also told the BBC website: ‘Although good hygiene measures can help prevent spread of the disease, the best way to protect your baby from catching rotavirus is to get them vaccinated.’
In addition to this, new vaccinations against shingles, meningococcal C and flu will be introduced later this year.