Rates of hospitalization and emergency room visits among children due to rotavirus infection fell between 80% and 100% since the launch of Merck & Co.'s RotaTeq in 2006, according to studies from the CDC and Quest Diagnostics. The oral vaccine -- which is given to patients at ages 2 months, 4 months and 6 months -- also appeared to prevent the spread of the disease in older unvaccinated children, an expert on infectious diseases said.

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