For the first time ever, studies published last month by the New England Journal of Medicine have confirmed a direct link between rotavirus vaccine and a reduction of diarrheal disease deaths based on data from three year-long studies conducted in Malawi, Mexico, and South Africa.

Rotavirus is the leading cause of severe diarrhea, which claims the lives of more than 500,000 children under age 5 every year – with almost half of these deaths occurring in Africa – and causes the hospitalization of millions more.