Lower Risk of Type 1 Diabetes in Children Vaccinated Against ‘Stomach Flu’ Virus

Vaccinating babies against a virus that causes childhood “stomach flu” greatly reduces their chance of getting so sick that they need hospital care, a new study shows.

But the University of Michigan study also reveals a surprise: Being fully vaccinated against rotavirus in the first months of life is associated with a lower risk of developing type 1 diabetes.

As a group, children who received all recommended doses of rotavirus vaccine had a 33 percent lower risk than unvaccinated children of being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes — a lifelong disease with no known prevention strategies or cure.

A U-M team made the finding using nationwide health insurance data and published the results in the journal Scientific Reports.

The study provides strong postmarket evidence that the vaccine works. Children vaccinated against rotavirus had a 94 percent lower rate of hospitalization for rotavirus infection, and a 31 percent lower rate of hospitalization for any reason, in the first two months after vaccination.

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