AMA President, Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, today welcomed the Federal Government's decision to include the rotavirus vaccine on the national childhood immunization program.
"Over the past year, the AMA has been calling for the Government to urgently fund the vaccine for the Australian children most at risk of contracting the deadly disease, so we're very pleased that it will now be made available to all Australian babies," Dr Haikerwal said.
"Rotavirus is the leading cause of diarrhea-related illness and death among children and infants internationally.
"This initiative will create significant savings for the health system and, more importantly, it will save lives."
Infants of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background, and those living in tropical and semi-tropical areas, are most at risk of contracting the disease.
"Last year the Northern Territory Government led the way by making the vaccine available to all infants," Dr Haikerwal said.
"The AMA welcomes the Federal Government's decision to include rotavirus immunization in the national childhood immunization program now that the vaccine has been approved by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee."