FDA reiterates: Rotavirus vaccines are safe despite pig virus

On Sunday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent a notice to pediatricians, family doctors and public health professionals reiterating the agency’s decision that both vaccines against rotavirus are safe despite the presence of pig viruses.

“Based on a careful evaluation of laboratory results from the manufacturers and its own laboratories, a thorough review of the scientific literature, and input from scientific and public health experts, the agency is revising its recommendation to temporarily suspend use of the Rotarix vaccine,” the FDA said. “FDA has also determined that RotaTeq vaccine should remain in use.”

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An infant getting a rotavirus vaccination.

And the agency added that the benefits of the vaccines that have been shown to prevent hospitalizations for acute diarrhea in American children and hundreds of thousands of deaths in the developing world, out weigh the “theoretical” risk of the pig viruses – PCV1 or PCV2 – found in the vaccines made by Merck & Co. (RotaTeq) and GlaxoSmithKline (Rotarix).

“FDA and the manufacturers will continue to investigate the findings of PCV in rotavirus vaccines and will evaluate information from ongoing testing by FDA and the manufacturers,” the agency stated in its notice on Sunday.

Here is the story by my colleague Marie McCullough on the rotavirus vaccines and pig viruses.

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