Vaccine (Drops) for Rotavirus

Rotovirus

How to pronounce Rotavirus: [ro-ta-vi-rus]  or Listenmedia icon

Three doses of the rotavirus vaccine are recommended by doctors as the best way to protect against rotavirus.

When should my baby get the drops?

Your baby should get either of the two available rotavirus vaccines:

  • 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

There are 2 brands of rotavirus vaccine: RotaTeq® and Rotarix®. Both brands of the rotavirus vaccines are given by mouth (drops), not by a shot.

Why should my baby get the rotavirus drops?

Newborn baby Rotavirus vaccine.
  • Protects your baby from rotavirus, a potentially serious disease.
  • Protects your baby from developing diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain caused by rotavirus.
  • Keeps your child from missing school or childcare and you from missing work.

The rotavirus vaccine is safe.

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The rotavirus vaccine is very safe, and is effective at preventing rotavirus. Vaccines like any medicine, can have side effects. These are usually mild and go away on their own.

What are the side effects?

Side effects are rare, usually mild, and may include fussiness, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Some studies have shown a small rise in cases of intussusception within a week after the first or second dose of rotavirus vaccine. Intussusception is a type of bowel blockage that is treated in a hospital. Some babies might need surgery. Studies estimate a risk ranging from about 1 intussusception case in every 20,000 infants to 1 intussusception case in every 100,000 infants after vaccination.

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Prepare for your child's vaccine visit and learn about how you can:

  • Research vaccines and ready your child before the visit
  • Comfort your child during the appointment
  • Care for your child after the shot
Before, During, and After Shots

What is rotavirus?

Rotavirus causes severe diarrhea and vomiting. It affects mostly babies and young children. Diarrhea and vomiting can lead to serious dehydration (loss of body fluid). If dehydration is not treated, it can be deadly.

What are the symptoms of rotavirus?

Rotavirus symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Watery diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain

Diarrhea and vomiting can last for 3 to 8 days. Children may stop eating and drinking while they are sick.

Is rotavirus serious?

Rotavirus can be very harmful. Diarrhea, vomiting, and fever can cause a loss of body fluids. This leads to dehydration, which can be very dangerous, especially for babies and young children. Some children need an IV (needle in their vein) in the hospital to replace lost fluids.

How does rotavirus spread?

Rotavirus commonly spreads in families, hospitals, and childcare centers.

People who are infected with rotavirus shed the virus in their stool (poop). If you get rotavirus particles in your mouth, you can get sick. This can happen if you

  • Touch contaminated objects or surfaces then put your fingers in your mouth
  • Put your unwashed hands that are contaminated with poop into your mouth
  • Eat contaminated food

Rotavirus can live on objects for several days. It is very difficult to stop its spread just by hand washing or disinfecting surfaces. The best way to protect young children from rotavirus is to get them vaccinated.

Follow the vaccine schedule

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommend children receive all vaccines according to the recommended vaccine schedule.

Page last reviewed: August 2, 2019