The first vaccinations against the rotavirus had nasty side effects

The first vaccinations against the rotavirus had nasty side effects

The Health Council advised in 2021 to vaccinate all newborn children against the rotavirus. Almost every child is infected with this virus before the age of five. It then suffers from fever, nausea, vomiting and severe, watery diarrhoea.

Rota vaccine prevents severe diarrhoea

Such rota vaccines are nothing new: RotaShield was the first in 1998. According to studies from that time, it could prevent severe diarrhea in no less than eighty to one hundred percent of cases. Both the European Medicines Agency and the US drug watchdog approved it for use.

In the US RotaShield was already taken off the market a year after its introduction, in Europe in 2001. It caused intussusception in some babies. A part of
the intestine slides into the subsequent part, closing the intestine and blocking the flow of food.

Vaccine is much safer now

Although not deadly, it is very painful and doctors must clear such a blockage with an enema or surgery. The risk of intussusception was 20 to 30 times greater within two weeks after the first dose than in children without the injection. This painful condition occurred once every 10,000 shots.

The US government introduced a national compensation program for children injured by the rotavirus vaccine: compensation amounting to $250,000. Nowadays little ones get safer rotavirus shots.


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