India unveils rota virus vaccine

Health Care Comments Off

Indian scientists unveiled an affordable vaccine (a dollar a vaccine) against a deadly diarrhea-causing virus, Rota virus that kills some 100,000 children in India every year. Rota virus is globally responsible for some 453,000 deaths annually. Rota virus is blamed for causing up to 884,000 hospitalizations a year in India, at a cost to the country of 3.4 billion rupees.

K Vijayaraghavan, Secretary of India’s Department of Biotechnology said it was a product of international cooperation. For the first time Indian scientists have taken a vaccine from the earliest discovery to every stage of development.

The vaccine named Rotavac will be manufactured by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech. Each vaccination consists of three doses.

Each dose of licenced vaccines from GlaxoSmithKline and Merck costs around 1,000 rupees.

Dr M K Bhan pioneered the project after local scientists discovered a localized rotavirus 23 years ago in a New Delhi hospital.

This vaccine would prevent 25 percent of all diarrheal admissions. More than 300,000 babies die within 24 hours of being born in India each year from infections and other preventable causes.

NIH has also congratulated the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), Bharat Biotech International, Ltd., and the scientists, government and people of India on the important results from the ROTAVAC rotavirus vaccine study.
An oral vaccine, Rotavac will be administered to infants in three dose course at the age of 6, 10 and 14 weeks. It will be given along with routine immunizations recommended at these ages.

Why a Rota vaccine?

1. Rotavirus is the single most important viral cause of severe gastroenteritis in children.

2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases, and the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, recommend universal immunization of infants against rotavirus disease.

3. The two currently available oral vaccines for the prevention of rotavirus disease are pentavalent human-bovine reassortant rotavirus vaccine (RV5, PRV, RotaTeq) and attenuated human rotavirus vaccine (RV1, HRV, Rotarix). These vaccines have different doses and schedules for administration.

4. Whenever possible, the rotavirus vaccine series should be completed with the same vaccine product, but vaccination should not be deferred if the product used for previous doses is not known. This problem will not come once the Indian vaccine is available.

5. Rotavirus vaccine is contraindicated in infants who are allergic to any of the ingredients of the vaccine, those who had an allergic reaction after a previous dose and those with a history of intussusception.

6. The vaccine should not be administered to infants with immunodeficiency.

7. RV1 is contraindicated in infants with a history of severe hypersensitivity reaction to latex, but RV5 may be administered to such infants.

Conditions that are precautions for administration of rotavirus vaccine include acute moderate or severe illness, preexisting chronic gastrointestinal disorder, and receipt of blood products.

What is the rotavirus?

1. When a virus infects the intestines and causes diarrhea and vomiting it is called “viral gastroenteritis.”
2. Rotavirus is a virus that can infect the intestines and cause diarrhea and vomiting.
3. In children, rotavirus is the most common cause of viral gastroenteritis.
4. Children can get a rotavirus infection if they touch an infected person or a surface with the virus on it, and then do not wash their hands or when they eat foods or drink liquids with the virus in them.
5. If people with a rotavirus infection don’t wash their hands, they can spread it to food or liquid they touch.
6. Adults can also be infected, but rotavirus infection is much more common in children.
7. A rotavirus infection commonly causes vomiting, diarrhea that is watery (but not bloody) and fever.
8. If the child has vomiting or diarrhea, his or her body can lose too much water leading to dehydration.
9. Symptoms of dehydration can include fewer wet diapers, or dark yellow or brown urine; no tears when a child cries; a dry mouth or cracked lips; eyes that look sunken in the face and a sunken fontanel (a fontanel is a gap between the bones in a baby’s skull).
10. When babies are dehydrated, the fontanel on the top of their head can look or feel caved in.
11. Call your child’s doctor or nurse if your child has any symptoms of dehydration; has diarrhea or vomiting that lasts longer than a few days; vomits up blood, has bloody diarrhea, or has severe belly pain; is passing urine much more than usual; hasn’t had anything to drink in a few hours, or can’t keep fluids down; hasn’t needed to urinate in the past 6 to 8 hours (in older children), or hasn’t had a wet diaper for 4 to 6 hours (in babies and young children)
12. Most children do not need any treatment, because their symptoms will get better on their own.
13. It is important to make the child drink enough fluids so that he or she does not get dehydrated. You will know that you are giving your child enough fluids when his or her urine looks pale yellow or clear, or when the baby has a normal amount of wet diapers.

To prevent dehydration

1. Give your baby or young child an “oral rehydration solution (ORS). You can buy this in a grocery store or pharmacy. If your child is vomiting, you can try to give him or her a few teaspoons of fluid every few minutes. Oral rehydration solution works better than juice, because juice sometimes makes diarrhea worse.
2. Continue to breastfeed your baby, if he or she is still breastfed.
3. Do not give your child medicines to stop diarrhea (anti-diarrhea medicines). These medicines can make the infection last longer.
4. If the child has a severe infection and gets dehydrated, he or she might need to be treated in the hospital.

Rotavirus infection be prevented

5. All babies are given a vaccine to prevent the rotavirus infection.
6. If your child has a rotavirus infection, you can prevent spreading the infection by: washing your hands with soap after you change your child’s diaper; not changing your child’s diaper near where you prepare food; putting diapers in a sealed bag before you throw them out and cleaning the diaper changing area with alcohol or with a bleach and water mixture.