Rotavirus

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Rotavirus

Rotavirus is a virus that causes diarrhoea, mostly in babies and young children. The diarrhoea can be severe, and lead to dehydration. Vomiting and fever are also common in babies with rotavirus. Since the introduction of the rotavirus vaccine, hospitalizations and emergency visits for rotavirus have dropped dramatically.

How Does The Rotavirus Vaccine Work:

The vaccine is built up of full dead cells of the Rotavirus, thus providing immunity from this virus. Doses are recommended at these ages:

  • First Dose: 2 months of age
  • Second Dose: 4 months of age
  • Third Dose: 6 months of age (if needed)

 

Your child must get the first dose of rotavirus vaccine before 15 weeks of age, and the last by the age of 8 months. Rotavirus vaccine may safely be given at the same time as other vaccines. Almost all babies who get rotavirus vaccine will be protected from severe rotavirus diarrhoea. And most of these babies will not get rotavirus diarrhoea at all. The vaccine will not prevent diarrhoea or vomiting caused by other germs.

Who should not get this vaccine?

  • A child younger than 6 weeks old
  • A child 8 months old or older
  • A baby who has had a life-threatening allergic reaction to a dose of rotavirus vaccine should not get another dose.
  • A baby who has a severe allergy to any part of rotavirus vaccine should not get the vaccine.
  • Babies with "severe combined immunodeficiency" (SCID) should not get rotavirus vaccine.
  • Babies who have had a type of bowel blockage called "intussusception" should not get rotavirus vaccine.
  • Babies who are mildly ill can get the vaccine. Babies who are moderately or severely ill should wait until they recover.

 

This includes babies with moderate or severe diarrhoea or vomiting.

Side effects

This vaccine is very safe. There is a small increased risk of intussusception (bowel blockage) especially in the first week after receiving the vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you notice other side-effects.

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