Rotavirus vax draws rave review at annual gathering

A new vaccine that targets rotavirus is being credited as a remarkable success. A slate of studies say that RotaTeq has sliced the number of new cases by anywhere from 66 percent to 100 percent. And researchers point to data that indicates that the benefits extend to children who have not been vaccinated.

One study of 61,000 infants funded by the manufacturer, Merck Research Laboratories, concluded that RotaTeq offered 100 percent protection against hospitalization and ER visits. RotaTeq was approved in 2006 and is provided to infants orally at two, four and six months. The new data was presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology and the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

"The success of the rotavirus vaccine is a major theme of this meeting," said Michael Scheld, M.D., of the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville.

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