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Rotavirus vaccine timeliness in special care nurseries
  1. Nigel W Crawford1,2,3,
  2. Rod W Hunt3,4
  1. 1Immunisation Service, Department of General Medicine, Royal Children's Hospital (RCH), Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2SAEFVIC, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MCRI), Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  3. 3Department of Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  4. 4Department of Neonatal Medicine, RCH, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Nigel W Crawford, Immunisation Service, Department of General Medicine, Royal Children's Hospital (RCH), Melbourne, Victoria 3052, Australia; nigel.crawford{at}

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Preterm infants are at increased risk of morbidity and mortality from rotavirus gastroenteritis.1 The impact of vaccines in reducing rotavirus-associated gastroenteritis admissions has been documented internationally, including in Australia.2 The UK introduced a live attenuated oral rotavirus vaccine (Rotarix (GSK)) for infants in July 2013. Healthcare providers need to be aware that the vaccine has strict administration age cut-offs, with the first dose to be administered by 14 weeks and the second dose by 24 weeks of age.3 These strict timelines are due to a small but significant increase in intussusception following oral rotavirus vaccines.4

Immunisations are often delayed in preterm infants despite recommendations that they …

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