The global effort to accelerate the availability of rotavirus vaccines in the developing world reaches a landmark with the first infants vaccinated against rotavirus in Nicaragua. Nicaragua’s President Enrique Bolaños hosts the launch of nationwide rotavirus immunisation at his home in Managua.
With a successful track record of introducing immunisation programmes, Bolivia was well-placed to take a lead in deploying the rotavirus vaccine.
With the support of GAVI and its partners, Honduras successfully introduced the Rotavirus vaccine.
Guyana becomes the fourth GAVI-eligible country to introduce a vaccine against rotavirus, the primary cause of diarrhoea which is the second biggest killer of under-fives in developing countries.
The first children in a GAVI-eligible country in Africa to be vaccinated against rotavirus was in Khartoum, Sudan. By 2015, GAVI plans to support the introduction of this life-saving vaccine in more than 30 countries, most of them in Africa, which have extremely high rates of death from rotavirus infections.
On 26 April 2012, Ghana became the first African country to introduce pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines at the same time, simultaneously tackling the leading causes of the world’s two biggest childhood killers – pneumonia and diarrhoea.
With the introduction of rotavirus vaccines in Rwanda, children will be protected against the leading cause of severe diarrhoea. At the date of introduction, rotavirus was responsible for the lives of nearly 3,500 Rwandan children every year, accounting for 8.8 % of all under five deaths.
Moldova introduced rotavirus vaccines in its routine immunisation in July 2012. The vaccination coverage is over 90%.
1 August - despite a severe humanitarian crisis, the government of Yemen, supported by GAVI and its partners introduces rotavirus vaccine into its national immunisation programme. One million children born each year will be targeted.
In October 2012, Malawi became the 10th GAVI-eligible country to introduce rotavirus vaccines in its national immunization program. Rotavirus takes the lives of more than 2,500 Malawian children under five each year— accounting for 4.5 percent of all under-five deaths in Malawi. Studies in Malawi show that rotavirus vaccines are safe and effective against severe rotavirus disease and are a cost-effective intervention.
Accelerating access to rotavirus vaccines will not only save the lives of Armenian children but also lessen the tremendous economic and health burden of rotavirus disease, thereby contributing to poverty reduction and a growing economy.
In the margins of GAVI’s 2012 Partners Forum in Tanzania, the country successfully introduced simultaneously rotavirus and pneumococcal vaccines to protect its children.
Diarrheal diseases cause 15-17% of hospitalizations observed among 0-3 year old children and contribute to up to 20% of emergency cases that place significant demand on the health services.
Haiti marked World Immunization Week with a ceremonial introduction of rotavirus vaccine into the country’s routine immunisation programme, with the support of the GAVI Alliance.
The Gambia was the 15th GAVI-eligible country to introduce rotavirus vaccines soon after the public health burden of rotavirus was confirmed by the Global Enteric Multicenter Study (GEMS), the first comprehensive global study of childhood diarrheal disease, which found that rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhoea among Gambian infants and toddlers.
Burkina Faso introduced rotavirus vaccines together with pneumococcal vaccines marking the second francophone sub-Saharan African country to add rotavirus vaccines to its national immunisation program.
The second most populous country in Africa, Ethiopia introduced rotavirus vaccines on to help its 2.8 million children live healthier lives. Ethiopia is one of the five countries with the greatest rotavirus burden worldwide, accounting for six percent of all rotavirus deaths globally.
After a successful pilot program championing rotavirus vaccines as part of an integrated approach to diarrhoea prevention and control in its capital city of Lusaka, Zambia rolled out rotavirus vaccines nationwide. The country plans to scale up the other aspects of the pilot program in alignment with the integrated Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD).
Burundi became the 10th GAVI-eligible African country to add rotavirus vaccines to its national immunization program. Rotavirus diarrhoea takes the lives of more than 3500 Burundian children under five each year.