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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 rotavirus vaccine is given in drops that your child swallows. He or she will get doses at 2 and 4 months. A third dose may be needed at 6 months. The final dose should be given no later than 8 months of age. The vaccine can be given as early as 6 weeks of age.
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.
Who should not get the rotavirus vaccine or should wait to get it:
Your child may need to wait to get the vaccine until diarrhea or vomiting stops. Talk to your healthcare provider if your child has a weakened immune system, HIV, cancer, or takes medicines such as steroids. The following are reasons your child should not get the vaccine:
- An allergic reaction to a dose of the vaccine, or a past reaction to any part of the vaccine
- Not having received any doses of the vaccine 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 healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your child's visits.
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