In the Press

Second Phase of Rotavirus Vaccine Program Launches in India

February 13, 2017

Normally, a case of diarrhea for a child means a visit to the doctor, a course of medicine, and a few days of bland food. But for children in India, a case of diarrhea can mean life-long developmental challenges or even death. Despite the availability of simple effective treatmeniarrhea is still a leading killer of children in developing countries, accounting for 9 percent of deaths among children under age five.

To improve access to the rotavirus vaccine and reduce under-five deaths, the government of India partnered with JSI from 2014-2016 to introduce the rotavirus vaccine in four states--Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha. This year, the second phase of the rotavirus vaccine program will commence in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, and Assam.

JSI will help the government plan all components of the new vaccine introduction  including proper resource allocation, staff capacity building, cold chain management, reporting tools, and other necessary preparations to ensure the smooth introduction of the vaccine and its integration into routine immunization services. JSI will also facilitate critical trainings and meetings, and develop materials to ensure that health workers are well equipped to administer the rotavirus vaccine.

Introducing the rotavirus vaccine is also an opportunity to strengthen the routine immunization system and catalyze national scale-up of the vaccine. Immunization is the only specific strategy to prevent rotavirus diarrhea among children. Many countries that have implemented similar programs have seen a sharp decline in the number of hospitalizations and deaths in children.

Read about JSI’s work in the Economic Times.

Click here to learn how JSI is helping countries strengthen their routine immunization systems and introduce new vaccines to increase access to life-saving drugs.