Rotavirus is a common virus
that causes vomiting and diarrhea,
especially in infants and young children. Childcare centers are a common site of outbreaks.
Rotavirus Immunization Schedule
The vaccine, which is a liquid given by mouth, is recommended at ages 2 and 4 months,
and again at 6 months, depending on the brand of vaccine used.
Why Is the Rotavirus Vaccine Recommended?
Rotavirus can cause severe diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration and, for some
kids, hospitalization. Besides protecting the individual child, vaccination against
rotavirus can help stop spread in the community.
Possible Risks of Rotavirus Immunization
Side effects can include diarrhea and vomiting, and a fever.
When to Delay or Avoid Rotavirus Immunization
The vaccine is not recommended if your child:
is currently sick, although simple colds or other minor illnesses should not
had a severe allergic reaction
to a previous 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 immune deficiency (SCID), a genetic disorder
Your doctor may determine that the benefits of vaccinating your child outweigh
the potential risks.
Caring for Your Child After Rotavirus Immunization
For pain and fever, check with your doctor to see if you can give either acetaminophenoribuprofen,
and to find out the appropriate dose.
If vomiting or diarrhea happen, give your child 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 if you aren't sure if the vaccine should be postponed or avoided.
Call if there are problems after the immunization.
Rarely, some kids will develop intussusception within a week of getting the first
dose of the vaccine. So after the first dose, watch for symptoms such as periods of
intense abdominal pain with uncontrollable crying; vomiting; blood or mucus in the
poop; and seeming weak, drowsy, or fussy.