FREDERICTON (GNB) – The publicly funded Rotavirus vaccine is now available for infants born in 2017 who are less than 15 weeks old.

The vaccine has been added to the New Brunswick Routine Immunization Schedule. It is administered orally and is a two-dose series given to infants when they are two and four months old.

“Quality health care is a priority for our government as we know the availability and delivery of health services has a significant impact on the quality of life of the people of our province,” said Health Minister Victor Boudreau. “Immunization is important to protect the health of our population; we are pleased to be introducing the Rotavirus vaccine for infants.”

Rotavirus is a common virus affecting young children. The virus causes severe diarrhea and vomiting which can lead to serious illness and hospitalization. It usually affects children between the ages of six months and two years. About 20 per cent of all “stomach flu” cases in children are caused by Rotavirus.

“The Rotavirus vaccine is the best way to protect against Rotavirus disease and is a safe and effective vaccine,” said acting chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell. “Healthcare practitioners and public health staff will be providing the vaccine. I encourage parents and guardians to talk to their healthcare provider for more information.”

The Public Health division of the Department of Health works to prevent and control communicable diseases through public health programs including childhood immunization, disease monitoring and reporting, investigation and control of disease outbreaks, and public education.

For more information on the Rotavirus vaccine, contact your primary healthcare provider, local Public Health office or Tele-Care 811.