ATLANTA (AP) -- A federal advisory panel has endorsed a second
vaccine to combat a common and potentially fatal virus that causes
diarrhea and vomiting in children.
The new two-dose vaccine for infants, made by GlaxoSmithKline,
was licensed by the Food and Drug Administration in April. The
vaccine advisory committee agreed today that it should be added to
the recommended vaccines for infants, as well as the three-dose
vaccine made by Merck and Co. and approved in 2006.
Both vaccines are given orally to prevent rotavirus, which
causes 67,000 hospitalizations of children under 5 each year in the
U.S., but only about 30 deaths. Worldwide, it kills an estimated
500,000 children a year.
Rotavirus is a leading cause of severe diarrhea in infants and
children, but is perhaps better known as the cause of vomiting that
often strikes children in the winter.
The vaccine advisory panel's recommendations typically are
adopted by the government, which issues vaccination guidelines to
doctors and hospitals.
The committee voiced no preference for one vaccine over the