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Nova Scotia to fund rotavirus vaccine as part of its childhood immunization program

A nurse loads a syringe with vaccine for injection in Victoria, B.C., in this file photo. .
A nurse loads a syringe with vaccine for injection in Victoria, B.C., in this file photo. . THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody

The rotavirus vaccine has been added to Nova Scotia’s publicly funded childhood immunization program and will be available to babies born on or after Nov. 1, the province said Friday.

The rotavirus vaccine is given orally to babies at two, four and six months of age, at the same time as other routine infant immunizations.

READ MORE: N.S. health department encourages parents to vaccinate children before school

Rotavirus is a highly contagious, easily transmitted virus that causes gastrointestinal illness in children. It typically affects children between three and 24 months of age.

The virus, according to the government, is also the most common cause of serious diarrhea in babies and young children, and the most common symptoms are vomiting, diarrhea and fever.

READ MORE: Myth-busting commonly heard concerns about vaccines

Other vaccines given to Nova Scotia children at two, four and six months of age include diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio and Haemophilus influenza type B.

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To get the rotavirus vaccine along with other scheduled vaccinations, the province advises people to take their infant to a health-care provider or contact their local public health office.