Province expands childhood immunizations

Three new vaccines will be available to B.C. kids in the new year.

Three new vaccines will be available to B.C. kids in the new year.

The rotavirus vaccine, a varicella (chickenpox) booster, and hepatitis A vaccine for aboriginal children, both on and off reserves, will be added to the B.C. childhood immunization schedule beginning Jan. 1, 2012.

The rotavirus vaccine is administered at two and four months and protects infants from diarrhea and vomiting caused by the rotavirus.

“Parents can be assured that these vaccines are safe and effective and will prevent serious health problems in the future,” said Dr. Monika Naus, medical director of the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, in a press release. “Additionally, rotavirus vaccine is given by mouth and does not require an injection. That should be a welcome change to many.”