What Is Rotavirus? Rotavirus is a common virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea. It usually affects infants and young children. Childcare centers are a common site of outbreaks. Rotavirus Immunization Schedule The vaccine is a liquid given by mouth. Children get it at ages 2 and 4 months, and again at 6 months, depending on the brand of vaccine used. Why Is the Rotavirus Vaccine Recommended? Rotavirus can cause severe diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration. Some kids who get it need care in a hospital. Besides protecting children who get the vaccine, immunization can help stop the spread of rotavirus in a community. What Are the Possible Side Effects of Rotavirus Immunization? Side effects can include diarrhea, vomiting, and a fever. When to Delay or Avoid Rotavirus Immunization The vaccine is not recommended if your child: is currently sick. But simple colds or other minor illnesses should not prevent immunization. had a serious allergic reaction to an earlier dose of the vaccine. Tell your doctor if your child has an allergy to latex, as one of the rotavirus vaccine brands has a latex applicator. has severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), a genetic disorder had intussusception, a type of bowel blockage, in the past Ask your doctor if the vaccination is OK if your child: has a digestive system problem or a gastrointestinal disease has immune system problems from a disease such as cancer takes steroids, or other drugs that weaken the immune system is getting chemotherapy or radiation therapy Your doctor may decide that the benefits of vaccinating your child outweigh the possible risks. Caring for Your Child After Rotavirus Immunization Check with your doctor to see if you can give either acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain or fever, and to find out the right dose. If your child has vomiting or diarrhea, give small amounts of fluid often and watch for signs of dehydration, such as less urine (pee) than usual. When Should I Call the Doctor? Call the doctor if: You aren't sure if the vaccine should be postponed or avoided. Your child has problems after the immunization. Rarely, some kids will develop intussusception within a week of getting the first or second dose of the vaccine. So watch your child for symptoms such as: intense belly pain with uncontrollable crying vomiting blood or mucus in the poop weakness, drowsiness, or fussiness Call your doctor right away if your child has any signs of intussusception. Back to Articles Related Articles Your Child's Immunizations Immunizations protect kids from many dangerous diseases. Find out what vaccines your child needs to grow up healthy. Read More Rotavirus Rotavirus infection affects most kids and is one of the most common causes of diarrhea. A vaccine to prevent it is now recommended for all kids. Read More Immunization Schedule Which vaccines does your child need and when? Use this immunization schedule as a handy reference. Read More How Do I Know Which Vaccines My Kids Need? Find out what the experts have to say. Read More How Can I Comfort My Baby During Shots? Find out what the experts have to say. Read More A Kid's Guide to Shots If you're old enough to read this, you've probably had most of your shots. But even bigger kids may need a shot once in a while. Find out more about them in this article for kids. Read More Immunizations Missing out on shots puts you at more serious risk than you might think. That one little "ouch" moment protects you from some major health problems. Read More 5 Tips for Surviving Shots If you're afraid of shots, you're not alone. Next time your doc asks you to roll up your sleeve, try these tips. Read More Word! Vaccine A vaccine is another word for what most kids call a shot. Read More How Vaccines Help (Video) Vaccines help keep kids healthy, but many parents still have questions about them. Get answers here. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.