Almost 60,000 babies in Scotland will be vaccinated against a highly infectious bug that is one of the most common causes of diarrhoea in children.
From September next year babies under four months will be immunised against rotavirus which causes diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever and dehydration.
The programme will cost about £2.5 million a year but will not start for almost a year because it takes months for suppliers to make enough vaccine.
At present, almost every child will have had the viral infection by the age of five. Rotavirus is the most common cause of gastroenteritis in infants and young children.
In order to stem the large number of children who become infected, health experts have decided to immunise children.
The vaccination programme, which will be UK-wide, follows a recommendation from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.
Public Health Minister Michael Matheson said: "Rotavirus is the most common cause of diarrhoea in young children and I welcome the use of any vaccine that can protect them. In some of the most serious cases, the infection can result in a hospital stay which can be distressing for the children and their families.
"It is thought that with the vaccine, there could be 70% fewer hospital stays as a result. Rotavirus is highly contagious and can affect around 140,000 infants in the UK every year. I would encourage parents of young children to take up this vaccine when the programme begins in September 2013."
The Rotarix vaccine, produced by GlaxoSmithKline, is already used in a number of other countries including the US where rotavirus-related hospital admissions are said to have fallen by as much as 86%.
A total of 58,500 infants in Scotland will be offered the vaccine as part of their immunisation programme. It will be given to babies in mouth drops in two separate doses when they are two months old and three months old.