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Rotavirus Vaccine


Margot L. Savoy

, MD, MPH, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University

Last full review/revision Jun 2021| Content last modified Sep 2022
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For more information, see Rotavirus Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices Vaccine Recommendations and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Rotavirus Vaccination. A summary of changes to the 2021 adult immunization schedule is available here.

Preparations of Rotavirus Vaccine

Rotavirus vaccines are live-virus vaccines. RotaTeq® (RV5) and Rotarix® (RV1) are currently licensed for use in infants in the US.

Indications for Rotavirus Vaccine

The rotavirus vaccine is a routine childhood vaccination ( see Table: Recommended Immunization Schedule for Ages 0–6 Years Recommended Immunization Schedule for Ages 0–6 Years Recommended Immunization Schedule for Ages 0–6 Years ).

Contraindications and Precautions of Rotavirus Vaccine

Contraindications for rotavirus vaccines are

The main precautions with rotavirus vaccines are

  • Moderate or severe illness, including moderate or severe diarrhea or vomiting (vaccination is postponed until the illness resolves; infants with mild illness can be given the vaccine)

The safety and efficacy of rotavirus vaccines have not be established in infants with the following:

Dose and Administration of Rotavirus Vaccine

Rotavirus vaccines are given orally by putting drops in the infant's mouth. The dosing for the 2 vaccines is slightly different:

  • RotaTeq® (RV5) is given orally in 3 doses, one dose at age 2 months, 4 months, and 6 months.

  • Rotarix® (RV1) is given orally in 2 doses, one dose at age 2 months and 4 months.

  • If any dose in the series is either RotaTeq® or unknown, default to a 3-dose series.

If the first dose of rotavirus vaccine is inadvertently given at age ≥ 15 weeks, the remaining doses should be given at the routinely recommended intervals.

Rotavirus vaccine should not be given after age 8 months 0 days, even if the series is incomplete.

Adverse Effects of Rotavirus Vaccine

Adverse effects are rare. Infants may become irritable or have mild temporary diarrhea or vomiting.

There is a very small risk of bowel intussusception with the rotavirus vaccine. Intussusception usually occurs within a week after the 1st or 2nd dose. Surgery may be required.

More Information

The following are some English-language resources that may be useful. Please note that THE MANUAL is not responsible for the content of these resources.

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NOTE: This is the Professional Version. CONSUMERS: Click here for the Consumer Version
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