Viral Gastroenteritis Rotavirus Vaccine
Rotavirus vaccine (e.g. Rotarix, Rota-Teq) is an oral vaccine. It is not given by injection. It does not prevent infection, but it does prevent severe infection. About 98% of children who receive the vaccine are protected from severe rotavirus gastroenteritis. As many as 74% of vaccinated children will not experience diarrhea if they are infected with rotavirus.
Dosing rotavirus vaccine is as follows:
- First dose:
- 2 months of age
- Should be given between 6 and 12 weeks of age
- Second dose:
- 4 months of age
- May be given at same time with other vaccines
- Third dose:
- 6 months of age
- Children should have received all 3 doses by 32 weeks of age.
Who should not get the rotavirus vaccine or at least wait?
- Any child who has had a severe allergic reaction to a dose of rotavirus vaccine
- Any child who is moderately to severely ill at the time of vaccination should postpone the vaccine until they recover. Children with a mild illness can receive the vaccine.
- If your child has a weak immune system, discuss the vaccine with your doctor.
- Any child who has recently received a transfusion or blood product should check with their doctor prior to receiving the vaccine.
What are the risks of the rotavirus vaccine?
- Allergic reactions, although severe allergic reactions are extremely rare.
- Some children may have mild problems such as:
- Signs of a more serious reaction to rotavirus vaccine include:
Continue to Viral Gastroenteritis Rotavirus Outlook
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- Glass RI, Bresee JS, Turcios R, Fischer TK, Parashar UD, Steele AD. Rotavirus vaccines: targeting the developing world. J Infect Dis. 2005 Sep 1;192 Suppl 1:S160-6. 
- Rivest P, Proulx M, Lonergan G, Lebel MH, Bedard L. Hospitalisations for gastroenteritis: the role of rotavirus. Vaccine. 2004 May 7;22(15-16):2013-7. 
- Widdowson MA, Bresee JS, Gentsch JR, Glass RI. Rotavirus disease and its prevention. Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2005 Jan;21(1):26-31.