A vaccine that protect babies from a potentially lethal stomach bug also slashes their risk of developing diabetes by a third.
New research shows that getting fully vaccinated against rotavirus in the first months of life is associated with a much lower risk of developing Type 1 diabetes later on.
As a group, children who received all recommended doses of rotavirus vaccine had a 33 percent lower risk than unvaccinated children of getting diagnosed with type 1 diabetes - a lifelong disease with no known prevention or cure.
The University of Michigan team's study, based on insurance data, suggests that simply enforcing already existing shot recommendations could considerably reduce the burden of the chronic disease.
Getting the rotavirus vaccine between their second and fourth months of life may reduce infants' risks of developing type 1 diabetes by one third, a new study suggests (file)
They said that their findings, published in the journal Scientific Reports, provides 'strong post-market 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 the jab.
Rotavirus hits babies and toddlers hardest; it can cause diarrhea and vomiting that can lead to dehydration or loss of fluids.
In Britain, an oral vaccine against rotavirus infection is given as two doses for babies aged eight and 12 weeks, alongside their other routine childhood vaccinations.
The vaccine is given as a liquid straight into the baby's mouth for them to swallow.
Study lead author Dr Mary Rogers, an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan, said: 'This is an uncommon condition, so it takes large amounts of data to see any trends across a population.
'It will take more time and