A vaccine called RotaTeq for rotavirus has been approved by the US. The rotavirus which gives rise to vomiting and diarrhea claims the lives of about 500,000 children across the world annually. In one of the largest clinical trials in history, Merck, the medicine's maker tested the vaccine on more than 70,000 children that showed it was safe and remarkably effective.
Rotavirus is a highly contagious virus that causes severe dehydrating diarrhea in infants and young children. While such deaths in the US are rare, the disease is one of the world's deadliest childhood illnesses, said Umesh Parashar, a medical officer at the respiratory and enteric viruses' branch of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
AdvertisementA set of three oral doses will cost $187.50, making it one of the most expensive vaccines. Marie-Paule Kieny, director of the initiative for vaccine research at the Marie-Paule Kieny, said they were committed to make RotaTeq available at a discount price in the developing countries.