The Rotavirus vaccine, as its name suggests, protects agains the Rotavirus.
Rotavirus is a virus that cmost commonly affects babies and young children. It causes severe, watery diarrhea and can lead to dehydration, vomiting and fever. It’s easily spread by touching contaminated objects or surfaces and then putting fingers into your mouth, putting unwashed hands contaminated with feces into your mouth, or eating contaminated food. It’s most commonly spread during symptoms and the first 3 days after recovery.
Before the vaccine, rotavirus caused approximately 440,000 deaths and over 2 million hospitalizations! Now, 9 out of 10 children who receive the vaccine will avoid severe illness, while 7-8 out of 10 are completely protected. 94% to 96% of vaccinated children are protected from hospitalization.
Though good hygiene like handwashing is important, getting the vaccine is the best way to protect children from rotavirus.
Rotavirus Vaccine Schedule
2 months old
4 months old
6 months old
First dose must be given <15 weeks old, last given by 8 months.
Potential Vaccine Reactions
• Mild, temporary diarrhea or vomiting
• Intussusception (stomach pain, vomiting, change in stools) — VERY rare, at just 0.005% to 0.001% of patients.
Brooke Kulasa, PA-C, has been a Kids Plus Provider since 2019.