1 Jul 2014

Rotavirus vaccine added to schedule

3:57 pm on 1 July 2014

A vaccine to protect children from a common stomach virus has been added to New Zealand's immunisation list.

Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew said almost every young child would catch Rotavirus before they were three, and more than 600 children per year would need hospital treatment.

The vaccine is given orally as part of standard immunisations for babies at ages six weeks, three months and five months.

Mrs Goodhew said babies must have the first of three doses of Rotavirus vaccine before they were 15 weeks old because there was no catch-up opportunity if they missed out.

Babies born on or after 19 March 2014 still have a chance to get the free vaccine, but the oldest of these babies will only have a few days.