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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
10-Apr-2012

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Contact: Kim Barnhardt
kim.barnhardt@cmaj.ca
613-520-7116 x2224
Canadian Medical Association Journal
@CMAJ_News

Waging war against rotavirus

Canada should show leadership in supporting adoption of the rotavirus vaccination in developing countries, but it must also ensure that all Canadian infants are vaccinated against the virus, states an editorial in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Rotavirus is the most common cause worldwide of severe diarrhea in babies and young children, resulting in more than 450 000 deaths every year. Most of these deaths are in the developing world.

While Canada supports the provision of the rotavirus vaccine to developing countries through funding of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI), the vaccine is publicly covered in only four Canadian provinces -- British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Prince Edward Island.

"To be true role models, our provincial and federal policymakers must ensure that all Canadian infants are offered vaccination against rotavirus," writes Dr. Ken Flegel, Senior Associate Editor, CMAJ, with coauthors. "Simultaneously, Canada should ensure the ongoing sustainability of GAVI by guaranteeing our funding despite current economic conditions and by encouraging other developed countries to do the same."

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