by Krisha McCoy, MS
What Is Rotavirus?
Rotavirus is a virus that is transmitted through stool. It is easily spread by contaminated hands and objects. Symptoms usually begin about two days after contact with the virus. Symptoms may include:
Rotavirus rarely causes death in developed countries.
What Is the Rotavirus Vaccine? TOP
The rotavirus vaccine is given by mouth. This is a live virus vaccine. This means it contains a living virus can produce immunity to the disease.
The vaccine comes in two brands, RotaTeq and Rotarix.
Who Should Get Vaccinated and When? TOP
Your baby will need two or three doses. The number of doses depends on which type of vaccine your baby gets. The recommended schedule for giving these doses is:
This vaccine is not given to older children or adults.
What Are the Risks Associated With the Rotavirus Vaccine? TOP
As with any vaccine, there is a small risk of severe reaction, such as a severe allergic reaction.
Most infants get the vaccine without any problems. In a small number of cases, children may have mild diarrhea or vomiting after getting the vaccine.
There may be a very small risk of a serious bowel obstruction called intussusception.
Who Should Not Get Vaccinated? TOP
Children should not get the vaccine if they:
Talk to your doctor if your child has a weak immune system due to the following:
What Other Ways Can Rotavirus Be Prevented Besides Vaccination? TOP
It is important that you wash your hands and practice good hygiene.
What Happens in the Event of an Outbreak? TOP
Frequent hand washing and washing of surfaces is recommended to keep the virus from spreading. Dirty linens and clothes should be handled as little as possible. These items should be laundered with detergent and machine-dried.
WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?
National Network for Immunization Information
Vaccines and Immunizations
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Addition of history of intussusception as a contraindication for rotavirus vaccination. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2011;60:1427.
Ciarlet M, Schodel F. Development of a rotavirus vaccine: clinical safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy of the pentavalent rotavirus vaccine, RotaTeq. Vaccine. 2009;27(Suppl 6):G72-81.
Desai SN, Esposito DB, et al. Effectiveness of rotavirus vaccine in preventing hospitalization due to rotavirus gastroenteritis in young children in Connecticut, USA. Vaccine. 2010;28(47):7501-7506.
Immunization schedules. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/index.html. Updated January 29, 2013. Accessed June 5, 2013.
Rotavirus. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/rotavirus. Updated April 11, 2011. Accessed June 5, 2013.
Rotavirus gastroenteritis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated March 25, 2013. Accessed June 5, 2013.
Rotavirus vaccine live oral. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated March 4, 2013. Accessed June 5, 2013.
Rotavirus vaccine: What you need to know. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov.... Updated December 6, 2010. Accessed June 5, 2013.
Rotavirus vaccination. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/rotavirus/default.htm. Updated May 21, 2013. Accessed June 5, 2013.
4/14/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Haber P, Patel M, Izurieta HS, et al. Postlicensure monitoring of intussusception after RotaTeq vaccination in the United States, February 1, 2006, to September 25, 2007. Pediatrics. 2008;121:1206-1212.
10/30/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Reduction in rotavirus after vaccine introduction—United States, 2000-2009. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2009;58(41):1146-1149.
3/16/2012 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Shui IM, Baggs J, Patel M, et al. Risk of intussusception following administration of a pentavalent rotavirus vaccine in US infants. JAMA. 2012;307(6):598-604.
Last reviewed December 2013 by David L Horn, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 1/13/2014