Vietnam halts use of diarrhea vaccine Rotarix

The country will temporarily stop administering the diarrhea vaccine Rotarix, made by drug company GlaxoSmithKline, in response to a recent announcement that Rotarix contains a pig virus, said Truong Quoc Cuong, head of the Drug Administration under the Ministry of Health on March 26.

The administration has asked the GSK office in Vietnam to coordinate with importers and distributors to alert all health clinics about the directive and not to order further batches.

GSK Vietnam has also been asked to report to the department on its export and distribution of Rotarix.

The vaccine is given orally to children from six weeks onwards to treat the viral infection rotavirus, which causes diarrhea and vomiting.

Rotarix was approved in Vietnam in 2007 and 155,000 shots have been given since August that year. However, it is not part of the National Vaccination Program.

By Khanh Nguyen, translated by T.Huong

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