Rotavirus 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.
Good hygiene like handwashing and cleanliness are important, but are not enough to control the spread of the disease. Rotavirus vaccine is the best way to protect your child against rotavirus disease. Most children (about 9 out of 10) who get the vaccine will be protected from severe rotavirus disease. About 7 out of 10 children will be protected from rotavirus disease of any severity.
Two rotavirus vaccines are currently licensed for 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
The first dose of either vaccine should be given before a child is 15 weeks of age. Children should receive all doses of rotavirus vaccine before they turn 8 months old.
Both vaccines are given by putting drops in the child’s mouth.
Vaccine basics for parents of infants and children
Vaccine recommendations and contraindications; composition, dosage, and administration; handling and storage
- Rotavirus Vaccine Information Sheet (VIS)
- Multiple Vaccine VIS (rotavirus, DTaP, Hib, Hepatitis B, polio, and PCV 13)
- CDC Rotavirus Disease Website
- Rotavirus Vaccine Safety
- CDC Feature: Protect Your Child against Severe Rotavirus
- Rotavirus Fact Sheet
- Rotavirus and the Vaccine (Drops) to Prevent It
- Child Immunization Schedule