The rotavirus is a virus that commonly causes vomiting and diarrhea among infants and young children.
The virus is capable of causing severe diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and abdominal pain. Children with rotavirus disease may become dehydrated and require hospitalization.
To protect against rotavirus disease, the CDC recommends that infants receive rotavirus vaccine. In the United States, two rotavirus vaccines are currently available for infants. Infants should receive two or three doses of rotavirus vaccine beginning at two months of age, depending on the brand.
Rotavirus vaccines are live attenuated, which means they contain a weakened version of the virus.
Two Types of Rotavirus Vaccines Licensed in The United States
The first dose of rotavirus vaccine should be conducted before the child reaches 15 weeks old. Children should receive all rotavirus vaccine doses before the age of eight months. Both vaccines are conducted via drops in the infant's mouth.
Consult your doctor for more information.
Who Should NOT Get Vaccinated
It is best to consult your doctor before giving your child the Rotavirus vaccine especially if they have:
Infants who are mildly or seriously ill should wait until they recover before receiving the vaccine. Infants with mild to severe diarrhea or vomiting are included. Babies who are only slightly ill can receive the vaccine.
Side Effects of Rotavirus Vaccine
Some infants do not develop any side effects after getting vaccinated. Some may develop mild side effects, but serious ones are rare.
Mild Side Effects
These mild side effects are just mild and temporary.
Serious Side Effects
Parents should not worry since these vaccine reactions are extremely rare, estimated to occur in less than one in a million doses, and usually occur within a few minutes to a few hours of the vaccination.
How Effective is the Rotavirus Vaccine
Studies shows that approximately 9 out of 10 children who receive the vaccine will be protected from severe rotavirus illness (fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and behavioral changes), and approximately 7 to 8 out of 10 children will be completely protected from rotavirus illness.