Australian researchers develop rotavirus vaccine effective for newborns

Updated 2018-02-22 14:53:03 Xinhua

An Australian-led team of researchers have successfully developed a rotavirus vaccine that could have the potential to protect millions of newborn babies around the world.

Known as RV3-BB, the rotavirus vaccine was developed by the Murdoch Children's Research Institute and trialed on 1,649 newborn babies at 25 health centers and hospitals in District Klaten, Central Java and District Sleman, Yogyakarta in Indonesia.

The study following the world-first clinical trial of the vaccine concluded that 94 percent of infants in their first year of life were protected against the severe illness.

"Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhea in children less than five years of age worldwide and it causes about 215,000 deaths each year and millions more to be hospitalized, so it is a very significant cause of death in young children," lead researcher Professor Julie Bines told Xinhua on Thursday.

Although vaccines for the deadly virus do exist and are available in around 90 countries, it is estimated that more than 90 million children across the globe still lack access.

Another problem is that the current vaccines are delivered six weeks after birth due to the intrinsic characteristics of the vaccines and the concern that they might

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