On 4 July 2012, the Dominican Republic introduced the rotavirus vaccine into its national immunization schedule in order to prevent diarrhea in children and avoid mortality. The introduction of the vaccine was announced at the official launch in the Santo Socorro hospital. The first doses were administered by the Minister of Health, Dr Bautista Rojas Gomez and the Regional Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Mirta Roses to two children aged two months (photo).
According to Dr Rojas Gomez, the new vaccine will prevent the diarrheal infec-tion that affects virtually all children in the first five years of life. The Minister explained that the administration of this oral vaccine in all vaccination posts in the country will also reduce paediatric visits and congestion in hospitals. Dr Ro-jas Gomez also stated that with the addition of the Dominican Republic, more and more countries in Latin America include this vaccine in their immunization programmes, which he assured is a great achievement.