Rotavirus vaccine: Rotavirus can cause severe watery diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and abdominal pain, especially in young infants and children. Rotavirus spreads easily. Children who get rotaviral disease can become quickly dehydrated and may need to be hospitalized.  It is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, but not in the US due to the availability of IV fluids to treat dehydration and the use of vaccines to prevent the disease.  Despite these medical advances, Rotavirus is still a formidable enemy.

Rotavirus vaccine is the best way to protect your child against rotavirus illness. Most children (about 9 out of 10) who get the vaccine will be protected from severe rotavirus illness. While about 7 out of 10 children will be protected from all rotavirus illness.  We use RotaTeq® (RV5), given in 3 doses at ages 2 months, 4 months, and 6 months

Rotavirus vaccines are given orally (by mouth) (orally). The first dose is most effective if  given before a child is 15 weeks of age. Children should receive all doses of rotavirus vaccine before they turn 8 months old.

Adverse Reaction: There is a very small risk of intussuception in babies given the Rotavirus vaccine. Intussecption causes severe abdominal pain in babies and can be a potentially life threatening illness. It is described in detail in this handbook under the abdominal pain section. Read this section for more information. We do feel that the prevention of Rotavirus infection outweighs the minute risk of intussuception posed by the vaccine.

CDC Vaccine information sheet:  Rotavirus vaccine VIS