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Rotavirus vaccine timeliness in special care nurseries
  1. Nigel W Crawford1,2,3,
  2. Rod W Hunt3,4
  1. 1 Immunisation Service, Department of General Medicine, Royal Children's Hospital (RCH), Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2 SAEFVIC, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MCRI), Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  3. 3 Department of Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  4. 4 Department 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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  • Contributors NWC designed the study and wrote the first draft of the letter. RWH provide the audit case details and revised the manuscript.

  • Competing interests NWC has acted as chief investigators for epidemiological studies sponsored by vaccine manufacturers (CSL) and serological testing (Merck). All payments, including for sitting on advisory boards (Pfizer), are paid directly to an administrative fund held by Murdoch Childrens Research Institute. RWH has no conflicts of interest to declare.

  • Ethics approval RCH Ethics committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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