Rotavirus Vaccine


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

  • RotaTeq® (RV5), given in 3 doses at 2 months, 4 months, and 6 months of a child
  • Rotarix® (RV1), given in 2 doses at 2 months and 4 months of of a child

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:

  • Health issues that your child may be experiencing
  • Current medications your child is taking
  • You may have concerns about vaccination.
  • Allergic reaction to any vaccines that may be life-threatening.
  • Immunodeficiency
  • a previous episode of bowel obstruction
  • HIV positive
  • Undergoing oral or radiation cancer treatment


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

  • Irritable
  • Mild diarrhea
  • Mild vomiting
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite

These mild side effects are just mild and temporary.

Serious Side Effects

  • Small chance of having intussusception (This may require hospitalization and surgery in some cases.)
  • Severe allergic reaction.

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.