Dear IAP members,
It was shocking to read in Loksatta, a Marathi daily, the misleading news about introduction by the government of Rotavirus vaccine as an attempt to use Indian children as Guinea pigs for a vaccine that has been dumped by USA.
There will be a lot of apprehension and queries from the parents of our patients. It will also have a negative impact on the acceptance of the vaccine when made available in the NIP.
Please dispel all the myths around it by stating the facts
1. Diarrhea is 2nd major killer of under 5 children and we lose close to a lac children every year. In addition to ORS, zinc and good Nutrition, a safe vaccine is now available to prevent one of the important causes of diarrhea.
2. About 40% of hospitalized diarrhea is caused by Rotavirus
3. The vaccine is safe and effective. it is in use in several countries including the USA and has helped bring down hospitalitzacions and deaths due to diarrhea
4. WHO has recommended to include this vaccine in the National Immunization Program in 2009
5. The vaccine was long needed to be made available to all free in the government immunization program and we welcome and appreciate the decision of the government to introduce this vaccine in the government immunization program.
Dr. Vijay Yewale
Indian Academy of Pediatrics