Category: Vaccination

After over a decade of research & development, on March 26, India launched a vaccination campaign employing Rotavac, the word’s cheapest vaccine against rotavirus—containing a strand of the virus isolated, manufactured and tested in India.

Rotavac, which was recommended by the health ministry in 2014, will be administered to children between six and 10 weeks old as part of a government programme launched in Odisha—followed by Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh.

Diarrhea is the world’s third-biggest killer of children under five. Despite a steep decline in child mortality in India, it still kills nearly 300,000 children in that age group every year. Of those, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 100,000 are due to rotavirus infection.

The Rotavac campaign is aiming to curb those deaths in an effective, affordable way.

There is no specific cure for rotavirus-caused enteritis, other than reintegration of fluids. But vaccines have been available for several years and, in countries such as the US and El Salvador, have reduced the numbers of hospitalisations by up to 96% (pdf, p.21).

Till now, there were two options: Rotateq, produced by Swiss pharmaceutical giant Merck, and Rotarix, made by British GlaxoSmithKline. While both are commercially available in India, their cost—over Rs2,000 for a full immunisation course—made them out of reach for too many.

Source: India launches war against a virus that kills over 100,000 kids every year – Quartz

  • Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Catastrophe was dropped from the fest Saturday
  • De Niro said Friday he wanted to promote ‘discussion’ after criticism
  • But he changed his mind, saying it didn’t ‘contribute’ to the discussion
  • He reviewed the film alongside members of the scientific community 
  • Director Andrew Wakefield made the autism link 18 years ago
  • But his claims were discredited and he lost his medical license in 2010 


Robert De Niro has reversed his much-criticized decision to screen a highly controversial film by a disgraced British doctor that attempts to link the MMR vaccine to autism.

The star came under fire Friday after announcing that he would screen Vaxxed: From Cover-up To Catastrophe at next month’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York in the hope of starting a ‘discussion’ about it. He reversed his decision Saturday.

The 72-year-old film festival founder, whose son, Elliot, is autistic, said that he had watched the film with ‘members of the scientific community’ and Tribeca organizers and that it did not ‘further the discussion that I had hoped for,’ the Palm Beach Post wrote.

Disgraced British doctor Andrew Wakefield directed the film that was axed from the festival. He is infamous for starting the MMR debate 18 years ago

Disgraced British doctor Andrew Wakefield directed the film that was axed from the festival. He is infamous for starting the MMR debate 18 years ago

In a personal statement Friday, the star had said, ‘Grace and I have a child with autism and we believe it is critical that all of the issues surrounding the causes of autism be openly discussed and examined.’

The child he was referencing is understood to be Elliot, while Grace is his wife of 18 years, Grace Hightower.

The statement continued: ‘In the 15 years since the Tribeca Film Festival was founded, I have never asked for a film to be screened or gotten involved in the programming.

‘However this is very personal to me and my family and I want there to be a discussion, which is why we will be screening Vaxxed.

‘I am not personally endorsing the film, nor am I anti-vaccination; I am only providing the opportunity for a conversation around the issue.’

However, he later said that after reviewing the film alongside Tribeca organizers and members of the scientific community, the decision to screen the movie had been reversed.

‘We do not believe it contributes to or furthers the discussion I had hoped for,’ he said.

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