KOHIMA: The Department of Health & Family Welfare under the directive of the Union Government is all set to introduce ‘Rotavirus Vaccine’ (RVV) into the Routine Immunization. It is scheduled to be launched on August 2 across Nagaland, stated a DIPR release.
According to a WHO (2013) report, “Rotavirus is responsible for more than 2,15,000 deaths each year in children younger than five years of age and 3.4% of all under-five deaths worldwide”. Rotavirus is also responsible for millions of hospitalizations and clinic visits each year. It affects children around the world in both rich and poor countries. India bears the highest-burden accounting for 22% of worldwide Rotavirus deaths.
The Indian Rotavirus Strain Surveillance Network (IRSSN) has reported that Rotavirus accounts for 40% of hospitalizations due to diarrhea in children. Rotavirus is responsible for nearly 32.7 lakh outpatient visits, 8.72 lakh hospitalizations, and 78,000 deaths annually in India.
Approximately 50% of Rotavirus-associated deaths occurred in the first year of life and about 75% occur in the first two years of life. The burden of Rotavirus diarrhea and associated death varies by region, age, and sex in India.
Rotavirus is estimated to cause 37% of the total diarrheal deaths and 40% of the total diarrhea-related hospitalizations in children under five years of age worldwide.
So far, Rotavirus vaccine has been successfully introduced in eleven states of the country namely Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Tripura, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh, in a phased manner, from 2016.