Health Council advises all newborns to be vaccinated against rotavirus
According to the Health Council, all newborns should be vaccinated against the rotavirus. Every year, on average, 3,600 children are admitted to hospital with the rotavirus. The disease causes diarrhea and can, in serious cases, result in dehydration and organ failure.
Vaccination against the virus should be included in the National Vaccination Program, the Health Council stated. Children six months and older can receive an oral vaccine. Pediatricians have already called for young children to be vaccinated which would also relieve pressure from the healthcare system which has been burdened by the pandemic.
Nearly all children under the age of five contract the virus. In most cases, children only become mildly ill. Nonetheless, a handful of children still die every year due to the virus. The rotavirus sits in the stool. Contamination occurs when the virus is ingested through the mouth via contact with an infected person or object. Symptoms usually appear two days after infection and can include fever, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
In particular, children who are born prematurely, with a low birth weight, or with congenital disease of the heart, nervous system, or intestines can become seriously ill.
In 2017, the Health Council recommended that children from risk groups should be vaccinated against the rotavirus.
The reason why the vaccine has not yet been included in the National Vaccination Program has to do with the high price of the drug. In an advice to the Ministry of Health, the Health Council stated that the price of the vaccine must fall in order to become “cost-effective”.