The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched India’s first indigenous rotavirus vaccine named Rotavac to combat infant mortality due to diarrhoea.
It was launched by Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda as part country’s ambitious Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP).
The vaccine is being introduced initially in four States Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh (first to launch it) and Odisha. It would be expanded to the entire country in a phased manner.
The Rotavirus vaccine has been developed indigenously under a public-private partnership between the Union Ministry of Science Technology, Union Health Ministry, institutions of the US Government and NGOs in India supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The vaccine is administered orally to infants in three dose course at ages of six, ten and fourteen weeks as part of Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP).
Note: The Rotavac vaccine is addition to three new vaccines that have been introduced by Union Government as part of country’s UIP. These three vaccines are Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV), Measles, Rubella (MR) vaccine, and Adult Japanese Encephalitis (JE) vaccine.
- The Rotavirus is a genus of double-stranded RNA virus in the family Reoviridae.
- It most common causative agent of moderate-to-severe diarrhoea (MSD) among infants below 11 months age group and death among children less than five years of age.
- Transmission: The virus spreads from person to person due to bacterial and parasiting agents that are primarily transmitted through contaminated food or water.
- Impact on Health: It causes gastroenteritis after it damages the cells that line the small intestine and causes gastroenteritis. In some cases in causes malnutrition, delayed physical and mental development among children