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World-First Vaccine Candidate For Newborns To Help Combat Deadly Rotavirus

Posted Jul 28 2010 11:16am

The vaccine candidate, developed by the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, is the culmination of almost four decades of research in Australia by MCRI, the University of Melbourne and the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne following the discovery of rotavirus by a team of staff led by Professor Ruth Bishop in 1973.

Current rotavirus vaccines are given to babies from six to eight weeks of age, which may leave newborn infants at risk of early infection and, in countries with limited health care access, may delay timely administration of the vaccine.

“This is a contribution of major importance to global child health by Australian researchers and one that has enormous potential to reduce suffering and mortality among the most vulnerable children around the world,” said lead researcher Professor Julie Bines of the University of Melbourne, MCRI and The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne.

“The new vaccine candidate has the potential to save many thousands of lives by vaccinating babies at birth while they were still in a health care setting.”

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