Rotavirus is a virus that spreads easily among infants and young children. The virus can cause severe watery diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and abdominal pain. Children who get rotavirus disease can become dehydrated and may need to be hospitalized.
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 rotavirus illness.
Two rotavirus vaccines are currently licensed for use in infants in the United States:
- RotaTeq® (RV5) is given in 3 doses at ages 2 months, 4 months, and 6 months
- Rotarix® (RV1) is given in 2 doses at ages 2 months and 4 months
Both vaccines are given by mouth (orally), not by a shot. The first dose of either vaccine is most effective if it is given before a child is 15 weeks of age. Also, children should receive all doses of rotavirus vaccine before they turn 8 months old.
- Rotavirus Vaccine Information Sheet (VIS)
- Multiple Vaccine VIS (rotavirus, DTaP, Hib, Hepatitis B, polio, and PCV 13)
- Rotavirus Information on vaccines.gov
- CDC Rotavirus Disease Website
- Rotavirus Vaccine Safety
- CDC Feature: Protect Your Child against Severe Rotavirus
- Rotavirus Fact Sheet
- Rotavirus: I Just Wish We Had Known
A mother's true story about how her twin babies got very sick with rotavirus illness
- Child Immunization Schedule
- Page last reviewed: August 12, 2016
- Page last updated: August 12, 2016
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