Thursday, January 24, 2008

RotaTeq approved for Canadian children

This is only a little late for last week's lecture.

"Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has endorsed the use of RotaTeq to help protect against rotavirus gastroenteritis in young children. RotaTeq is a new vaccine made by Merck Frosst Canada, and it has been on the market in the United States since 2006. The Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians welcomed the recommendation of the vaccine for rotaviruses, which causes about 20 percent of bouts of diarrhea and vomiting in children. "Not only is it a common cause of stressful and costly emergency department visits, but its highly contagious nature makes it a common cause of hospital-acquired illness for patients and their siblings visiting the emergency department for any reason," said Dr. Vincent Grant, chair of the association's pediatric section. Individual provinces and territories still have to determine their funding plans for the oral, three-dose vaccine. The Canadian Immunization Committee will advise them on whether to add RotaTeq to the roster of publicly funded vaccines. A universal immunization program has the potential to eliminate 56,000 cases of rotavirus gastroenteritis, 33,000 visits to physicians, 15,000 emergency department visits and 1,000 to 5,000 hospitalizations a year, according to NACI estimates."

-Rebecca Hebner

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