**** HEALTH/WELLNESS Media Release
Rotavirus Vaccine Now Publicly Funded
The rotavirus vaccine has been added to Nova Scotia’s publicly funded childhood immunization program. Babies born on or after Nov. 1, will be eligible to get the vaccine.
The rotavirus vaccine is given orally to babies at two, four and six months of age, at the same time as other routine infant immunizations.
Rotavirus is a highly contagious, easily transmitted virus that causes gastrointestinal illness in children. It typically affects children between three and 24 months of age.
“Adding the rotavirus vaccine to the provincial immunization program will help keep more babies and young children healthy by protecting them from a common virus that can make them quite ill,” said Health and Wellness Minister Randy Delorey.
“I am delighted that Nova Scotian infants will have the chance to be protected from rotavirus, which is a leading cause of diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration. Including it in the childhood immunization schedule is an important step in keeping our babies safe from infections that can be prevented by vaccines and increasing the chances of a healthy early childhood.”
– Dr. Joanne Langley, head, division of pediatric infectious diseases, IWK Health Centre and professor of pediatrics and community health and epidemiology, Dalhousie University
— about 7,900 babies are born in Nova Scotia each year
— rotavirus is the most common cause of serious diarrhea in babies and young children, and the most common symptoms are vomiting, diarrhea and fever
— other vaccines given to Nova Scotia children at two, four and six months of age include diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio and Haemophilus influenza type B
— to get the rotavirus vaccine along with other scheduled vaccinations, people can take their infant to a health-care provider or contact their local public health office
— parents or guardians who have questions and want more information should talk to a health care provider or contact their local public health office