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Rotavirus Vaccine


What is 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. The rotavirus vaccine is given in drops that your baby swallows. He will get doses at 2 and 4 months. A third dose may be needed at 6 months. The vaccine can be given as early as 6 weeks of age. The final dose should be given no later than 8 months of age.


Who should not get the rotavirus vaccine or should wait to get it?

Your baby may need to wait to get the vaccine until diarrhea or vomiting stops. He may need to wait if he has a weakened immune system from HIV/AIDS, cancer, or medicines such as steroids. Your baby should not get the vaccine if:

  • He had an allergic reaction to the vaccine or any of its parts, or he has severe allergies, including a latex allergy
  • He has severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID)
  • He has a bowel blockage or has had one in the past
  • He is 15 weeks or older and has not received any doses of the vaccine

What are the risks of the rotavirus vaccine?

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

Call 911 for any of the following:

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

When should I seek immediate care?

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

When should I contact my baby's healthcare provider?

  • You have questions or concerns about the rotavirus vaccine.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your baby's care. Learn about your baby's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your baby's caregivers to decide what care you want for your baby. 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.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.