1. What is rotavirus?
Rotavirus is one of the common virus which causes diarrhea in babies and can lead to severe dehydration. This infection can also cause vomiting and fever.
2. What is Rotavirus vaccine and how is it given to babies?
Rotavirus vaccine is a live attenuated vaccine given orally (as drops). This vaccine prevents children from diarrhea caused by Rotavirus. Your child can still get diarrhea from other types of diarrhea causing viruses.
3. When should I give Rotavirus vaccine to my child?
Indian academy of pediatrics recommends 2/3 doses depending on the brand at 4-8 weeks interval as discussed below and the below mentioned schedule should be strictly followed as there is a potentially high risk or intussusception (a type of bowel blockage ) if this vaccine is given to older babies.
Rotarix™: 2 Doses at 4 weeks interval preferable as follows (Do not initiate this vaccine regime if the child is older than 3 moths)
- 1ST Dose- 6 weeks
- 2nd Dose- 10 weeks
(The 2 dose should be completed by 4 moths age and should not be given if the child is older than 6 months age)
RotaTeq™: 3 Doses at 4-8 weeks interval preferable as follows (Do not initiate this vaccine regime if the child is older than 3 moths)
- 1ST Dose- 6 weeks
- 2nd Dose-10 weeks
- 3 ed Dose-14 weeks
(All 3 dose should be completed by 8 moths age)
4. Does my child need to be on empty stomach to get Rotavirus vaccine?
No, Rotavirus vaccine can be given even if the baby had food.
5. Can Rotavirus vaccine be given if the child has minor illness?
Yes, Rotavirus vaccine can be given, even if the child has some minor illness like cold or mild fever. This vaccine should not be given if the child has any diarrhea.
6. Can Rotavirus vaccine be given to Preterm babies?
Yes, Rotavirus vaccine can be given to preterm babies if stable at 6 weeks of age.
7. What to do, if my child has any diarrhea?
Rotavirus vaccine should be postponed till the diarrhea improves.
8. Who should not get Rotavirus vaccine?
- Babies who had severe allergic reaction to a previous dose of rotavirus vaccine should not get another dose.
- Babies with immune deficiency.
- Babies who are moderately or severely ill including any diarrhea.
- Babies who had intussusception (a type of bowel blockage).
9. What are the side effects from Rotavirus Vaccine?
Most babies who get this vaccine do not have any problem, but rarely there may be some irritability, mild temporary diarrhea or vomiting after receiving this vaccine. Some research studies have shown- there is slightly increased possibility of intussusception (a type of bowel blockage) within a week after receiving the first dose of Rotavirus vaccine.
“Content Source: Centers for Disease Control and prevention, Indian Academy of pediatrics, IAPCOI”