Gastrointestinal infections almost eradicated for babies

Baby Gastrointestinal infections cry sickCrying Baby

Gastrointestinal infections almost eradicated with improved vaccine

The number of children who are affected by gastrointestinal infections, has decreased by 86 percent after infants are offered the improved rotavirus vaccine.


The vaccine, which protects the smallest against the rotavirus, was incorporated in the baby vaccination program three years ago and appears to be a success, according to recent figures from the National Vaccination Register, SYSVAK. Nine out of ten infants have received the vaccine during this period – and the number of children under five years who have been referred to hospitals with gastrointestinal infections decreased by 86 per cent last year, according to the Public Health Institute.

Before the vaccine was included in the program, rotavirus infection caused about two thirds of all hospitalizations due to diarrhea and vomiting among infants and toddlers in Norway.

Indirect protection

– It is very good that so many parents have accepted the offer to vaccinate their children and want to protect them from this disease. Rotavirus infection can cause severe dehydration, especially in the smallest children, says Tone Bruun at the Institute of Public Health.

The decrease in admissions is 2016 compared with the averages for 2014 and 2015. The decline was greatest in the age group over three years, where most of the children are vaccinated.

There is also a decrease of 68 percent in hospital contacts involving older children aged three to five years who are not vaccinated, due to the indirect protection from the vaccine.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today