Rotavirus is a virus that causes diarrhea, mostly in babies and young children. The diarrhea can be severe, and lead to dehydration. Vomiting and fever are also common in babies with rotavirus.
Before rotavirus vaccine, rotavirus disease was a common and serious health problem for children in the United States. Almost all children in the U.S. had at least one rotavirus infection before their 5th birthday.
Every year before the vaccine was available:
Since the introduction of the rotavirus vaccine, hospitalizations and emergency visits for rotavirus have dropped dramatically.
Two brands of rotavirus vaccine are available. Your baby will get either 2 or 3 doses, depending on which vaccine is used.
Doses are recommended at these ages:
Your child must get the first dose of rotavirus vaccine before 15 weeks of age, and the last by age 8 months. Rotavirus vaccine may safely be given at the same time as other vaccines.
Almost all babies who get rotavirus vaccine will be protected from severe rotavirus diarrhea. And most of these babies will not get rotavirus diarrhea at all.
The vaccine will not prevent diarrhea or vomiting caused by other germs.
Another virus called porcine circovirus (or parts of it) can be found in both rotavirus vaccines. This is not a virus that infects people, and there is no known safety risk.
With a vaccine, like any medicine, there is a chance of side effects. These are usually mild and go away on their own. Serious side effects are also possible but are rare.
Most babies who get rotavirus vaccine do not have any problems with it. But some problems have been associated with rotavirus vaccine:
Mild problemsfollowing rotavirus vaccine:
Babies might become irritable, or have mild, temporary diarrhea or vomiting after getting a dose of rotavirus vaccine.
Severe problemsfollowing rotavirus vaccine:
Intussusceptionis a type of bowel blockage that is treated in a hospital, and could require surgery. It happens "naturally" in some babies every year in the United States, and usually there is no known reason for it.
There is also a small risk of intussusception from rotavirus vaccination, usually within a week after the 1st or 2nd vaccine dose. This additional risk is estimated to range from about 1 in 20,000 to 1 in 100,000 U.S. infants who get rotavirus vaccine. Your doctor can give you more information.
Problems that could happen after any vaccine:
As with any medicine, there is a very remote chance of a vaccine causing a serious injury or death.
The safety of vaccines is always being monitored. For more information, visit: Web Site.
What should I look for?
What should I do?
If you think it isintussusception, call a doctor right away. If you can't reach your doctor, take your baby to a hospital. Tell them when your baby got the rotavirus vaccine.
If you think it is a severe allergic reaction or other emergency that can't wait, call 9-1-1 or get your baby to the nearest hospital.
Otherwise, call your doctor.
Afterward, the reaction should be reported to the "Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System" (VAERS). Your doctor might file this report, or you can do it yourself through the VAERS web site at Web Site , or by calling1-800-822-7967.
VAERS does not give medical advice.
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) is a federal program that was created to compensate people who may have been injured by certain vaccines.
Persons who believe they may have been injured by a vaccine can learn about the program and about filing a claim by calling1-800-338-2382or visiting the VICP website at Web Site . There is a time limit to file a claim for compensation.
Rotavirus Vaccine Information Statement. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Immunization Program. 2/23/2018.
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.
Selected Revisions: April 15, 2018.