U.S. government considers vaccine against dangerous diarrheal infection

A new vaccine against a sometimes deadly diarrheal &to=http://english.pravda.ru/main/2000/12/21/1594.html' target=_blank>infection does not appear to cause the problems associated with an earlier vaccine, but more information on one trial is needed before the drug's effectiveness can be gauged, a federal regulatory agency said in documents posted on the Internet Tuesday.

Still, a Food and Drug Administration reviewer wrote that RotaTeq, drug company Merck & Co.'s vaccine against rotavirus, is "highly likely" to be effective, based on the results of one study that showed a decrease in rotavirus-caused illness. The agency is seeking additional information from Merck before reaching conclusions on the second study.

In the United States, rotavirus infects many children before their third birthday, sometimes resulting in hospitalization. It kills a few dozen &to=http://english.pravda.ru/columnists/2002/06/14/30377_.html' target=_blank>American children a year. Children eventually develop an immunity to it.

Its effects in developing countries, however, are much more severe, and it is blamed for millions of deaths.