The Department of Health has today announced that the planned rotavirus vaccination programme will start in July.
All babies aged between two and four months will be vaccinated against a highly infectious bug that is one of the most common causes of diarrhoea in children.
At present, almost every child will have had the viral infection by the age of five. It is the most common cause of gastroenteritis in infants and very young children.
Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at Public Health England, said that the oral vaccine is "very easy to administer" to young babies and that it has already been very effective in the US and parts of Europe.