Rotavirus Vaccine Loses US Federal Backing

Reuters news service reported in the October 25, 1999 publication of USA Today that a US Federal Health panel has withdrawn its recommendation that infants be vaccinated with the rotavirus vaccine. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices stated that when it comes to the rotavirus they, "no longer recommend immunization of infants."

The concern comes from incidences of an intestinal problem, intussusception, a type of bowel obstruction that may possibly occur within two weeks of giving this immunization. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) survey found a significantly higher relationship between intussusception and children who hed been immunized with the rotavirus. Reportedly there were 102 cases of intussusception in vaccinated children when only about a dozen cases were expected.

John Livengood, director of epidemiology and surveillance in the National Immunizations Program of the CDC commented, "We felt that the risk of an adverse reaction to the vaccine, in the case intussusception, outweighed the potential benefit the parents would likely see in their individual child."

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