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Rotavirus Vaccine Linked to Bowel Disorder

CDC: Benefits of Vaccination Still Far Exceed Risks

Natural Infection May Also Cause Bowel Disorder continued...

In a news release, Williams notes that vaccination may not actually increase intussusception risk, because it now appears that natural rotavirus infection can also cause the bowel obstruction.

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia rotavirus vaccine researcher Paul A. Offit, MD, agrees.

Offit, who is a co-developer of the RotaTeq vaccine, tells WebMD that vaccination may prove to be associated with a lower risk for intussusception than natural rotavirus infection.

“Decisions about any medical treatment come down to whether the benefits outweigh the risks,” Offit says. “I would argue that in this case the choice is an easy one, because rotavirus is very common and intussusception is quite rare. Before the rotavirus vaccine was available, between  55,000 and 70,000 children [in the U.S.] were hospitalized every year from rotavirus and around 60 children died.”

In a statement provided to WebMD, GlaxoSmithKline affirms its confidence in the safety of Rotarix, noting that the company continues to monitor its safety worldwide.

“Due to the efficacy demonstrated by the vaccine in helping to protect against rotavirus gastroenteritis, the expected benefit from rotavirus vaccination exceeds the risk related to intussusception,” the statement reads.

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