- Parents Home
- Allergy Center
- Asthma Center
- Cancer Center
- Diabetes Center
- A to Z
- Emotions & Behavior
- First Aid & Safety
- Food Allergy Center
- General Health
- Growth & Development
- Flu Center
- Heart Health
- Helping With Homework
- Diseases & Conditions
- Nutrition & Fitness Center
- Play & Learn Center
- School & Family Life
- Pregnancy & Newborn Center
- Sports Medicine Center
- Doctors & Hospitals
- Para Padres
- Kids Home
- Asthma Center for Kids
- Cancer Center for Kids
- Movies & More
- Diabetes Center for Kids
- Getting Help
- Puberty & Growing Up
- Health Problems of Grown-Ups
- Health Problems
- Homework Center
- How the Body Works
- Illnesses & Injuries
- Nutrition & Fitness Center for Kids
- Recipes & Cooking for Kids
- Staying Healthy
- Stay Safe Center
- Relax & Unwind Center
- Q&A for Kids
- The Heart
- Videos for Kids
- Staying Safe
- Kids' Medical Dictionary
- Para Niños
- Teens Home
- Asthma Center for Teens
- Be Your Best Self
- Cancer Center for Teens
- Diabetes Center for Teens
- Diseases & Conditions (for Teens)
- Drugs & Alcohol
- Expert Answers (Q&A)
- Flu Center for Teens
- Homework Help for Teens
- Infections (for Teens)
- Managing Your Medical Care
- Managing Your Weight
- Nutrition & Fitness Center for Teens
- Recipes for Teens
- Safety & First Aid
- School & Work
- Sexual Health
- Sports Center
- Stress & Coping Center
- Videos for Teens
- Para Adolescentes
Your Child's Immunizations: Rotavirus Vaccine (RV)
What Is Rotavirus?
Rotavirus is a common virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea. It usually affects infants and young children. Childcare centers are a common site of outbreaks.
Rotavirus Immunization Schedule
The vaccine is a liquid given by mouth. Children get it at ages 2 and 4 months, and again at 6 months, depending on the brand of vaccine used.
The rotavirus vaccines are live attenuated vaccines, which means they contain a weakened form of the virus.
Why Is the Rotavirus Vaccine Recommended?
Rotavirus can cause severe diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration. Some kids who get it need care in a hospital. Besides protecting children who get the vaccine, immunization can help stop the spread of rotavirus in a community.
What Are the Possible Side Effects of Rotavirus Immunization?
Side effects can include diarrhea, vomiting, and a fever.
When to Delay or Avoid Rotavirus Immunization
The vaccine is not recommended if your child:
- is currently sick. But simple colds or other minor illnesses should not prevent immunization.
- had a serious allergic reaction to an earlier dose of the vaccine. Tell your doctor if your child has an allergy to latex, as one of the rotavirus vaccine brands has a latex applicator.
- has severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), a genetic disorder
- had intussusception, a type of bowel blockage, in the past
Ask your doctor if the vaccination is OK if your child:
- has a digestive system problem or a gastrointestinal disease
- has immune system problems from a disease such as cancer
- takes steroids, or other drugs that weaken the immune system
- is getting chemotherapy or radiation therapy
Your doctor may decide that the benefits of vaccinating your child outweigh the possible risks.
Caring for Your Child After Rotavirus Immunization
Check with your doctor to see if you can give either acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain or fever, and to find out the right dose.
If your child has vomiting or diarrhea, give small amounts of fluid often and watch for signs of dehydration, such as less urine (pee) than usual.
When Should I Call the Doctor?
Call the doctor if:
- You aren't sure if the vaccine should be postponed or avoided.
- Your child has problems after the immunization.
Rarely, some kids will develop intussusception within a week of getting the first or second dose of the vaccine. So watch your child for symptoms such as:
- intense belly pain with uncontrollable crying
- blood or mucus in the poop
- weakness, drowsiness, or fussiness
Call your doctor right away if your child has any signs of intussusception.
- How Can I Comfort My Baby During Shots?
- How Do I Know Which Vaccines My Kids Need?
- Your Child's Immunizations
- How Vaccines Help (Video)
- Immunization Schedule
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995- KidsHealth® All rights reserved.
Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.