Rotavirus is a common virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea, especially in infants and young children. Childcare centers are a common site of outbreaks.
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.
Rotavirus can cause severe diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration and, for some kids, hospitalization. Vaccination against rotavirus can help stop spread in the community, in addition to protecting the individual child.
Side effects can include diarrhea and vomiting, in addition to fever.
The vaccine is not recommended if your child:
Let the doctor know if your child has an allergy to latex, since one of the rotavirus vaccine brands has a latex applicator.
Talk to your doctor about whether it's a good idea for your child to be vaccinated if he or she:
Your doctor may determine that the benefits of vaccinating your child outweigh the potential risks.
Depending on your child's age, fever may be treated with acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Check with your doctor to see if you can give either medication and to find out the appropriate dose.
If vomiting or diarrhea occur, give your child small, frequent amounts of fluid and watch for signs of dehydration, such as less urine (pee) than usual.
Rarely, some kids will develop intussusception within a week of getting the first dose of the vaccine. So after the first dose, watch for signs of intussusception, which can include periods of intense abdominal pain with uncontrollable crying; vomiting; blood or mucus in the poop; and seeming weak, drowsy, or fussy.
Reviewed by: Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD
Date reviewed: February 2015
|CDC: Vaccines & Immunizations The CDC's site has information on vaccines, including immunization schedules, recommendations, FAQs, and more.|
|Immunization Action Coalition This organization is a source of childhood, adolescent, and adult immunization information as well as hepatitis B educational materials.|
|CDC: Preteen and Teen Vaccines CDC site provides materials in English and Spanish for parents, teens, preteens, and health care providers about vaccines and the diseases they prevent.|
|The History of Vaccines The History of Vaccines is an informational, educational website created by The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the oldest professional society in the United States.|
|Word! Vaccine A vaccine is another word for what most kids call a shot.|
|Immunization Schedule Which vaccines does your child need to receive and when? Use this immunization schedule as a handy reference.|
|Your Child's Immunizations Immunizations protect your child from potentially fatal diseases. Find out what vaccines your child needs to grow up healthy.|
|A Kid's Guide to Shots If you're old enough to read this, you've probably had most of your shots. But even bigger kids may need a shot once in a while. Find out more about them in this article for kids.|
|How Do I Know Which Vaccines My Kids Need? Find out what the experts have to say.|
|Immunizations Missing out on shots puts you at more serious risk than you might think. That one little "ouch" moment protects you from some major health problems.|
|How Can I Comfort My Baby During Shots? Find out what the experts have to say.|
|Rotavirus Rotavirus infection affects most kids and is one of the most common causes of diarrhea. A vaccine to prevent it is now recommended for all kids.|
|5 Tips for Surviving Shots If you're afraid of shots, you're not alone. Next time your doc asks you to roll up your sleeve, try these tips.|
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