FDA Approves Vaccine
for Rotavirus - Dangerous Stomach Flu
Stanley A. Plotkin, M.D.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced today that they have
approved the licensing of a new vaccine for the rotavirus infection.
The rotavirus is responsible for thousands of hospitalizations in the
United States and hundreds of thousands of deaths around the world each
The ROTATEQ vaccine, developed by Merck & Co, Inc, will be used to
protect infants against the highly contagious rotavirus infection.
According to the Wistar Institute, this virus is the most common cause
of severe dehydrating diarrhea in infants and young children.
Early research for this vaccine began in 1980 by scientists from The
Wistar Institute and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). In
1991 Merck took on the task of developing the vaccine for the clinic.
During the 1980’s the researchers turned to the idea of reassortants,
“taking advantage of the fact that viruses have the ability to borrow
genetic material from each other to "reassort" themselves into new
strains.” This led to a more efficient vaccine.
Merck has been working on the vaccine after licensing the technology
(1992) from Wistar. The new vaccine promises to become a major new tool
to promote public health, according to a Wistar press release.
A similar vaccine, Rotashield, was pulled from the market six years ago
after it was linked to injuries in “scores of babies.” According to the
Boston Globe, vaccine-safety groups are already warning parents to tread
cautiously. The parents of 8 million American babies will have a choice,
and will need to decide whether to allow doctors to administer it to
By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer
Books on Pregnancy
Keywords and misspellings: priatal prenatal pre-natal