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Rotavirus Vaccine


What you need to know about the rotavirus vaccine:

The rotavirus vaccine is given to protect your child from rotavirus infection. Rotavirus causes inflammation of the small intestine and severe diarrhea. Rotavirus can prevent your child's body from absorbing water and nutrients. This can cause severe dehydration. The vaccine is given in drops that your child swallows.

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

  • Your child has signs of a severe allergic reaction, such as trouble breathing, hives, or wheezing.

Seek care immediately if:

  • Your child shows signs of stomach pain, such as pulling his or her legs to the abdomen, or severe crying.
  • Your child vomits several times.
  • You see blood in your child's bowel movement.
  • Your child is weak or irritable.
  • Your child has a high fever, or you notice behavior changes that concern you.

Call your child's doctor if:

  • You have questions or concerns about the rotavirus vaccine.

When your child should get the rotavirus vaccine:

Doses are normally given at 2 and 4 months. A third dose may be needed at 6 months.

Who should wait to get the rotavirus vaccine:

You may need to wait to get the vaccine if your child has any of the following:

  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • A weakened immune system, HIV, or cancer
  • Current use of medicines such as steroids

Reasons your child should not get the rotavirus vaccine:

  • An allergic reaction to a dose of the vaccine, or a past reaction to any part of the vaccine
  • No doses of the vaccine received by age 15 weeks
  • Severe allergies, including a latex allergy
  • Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID)
  • A bowel blockage now or in the past

Risks of the rotavirus vaccine:

Your child may still get rotavirus, even after the vaccine. He or she may have an allergic reaction to the vaccine. This can be life-threatening.

Follow up with your child's doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your child's visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.