Rotavirus Vaccine

What is rotavirus vaccine?

Rotavirus vaccine is a vaccine used to protect against rotavirus infections.

Rotavirus is recognized as the most common cause of severe gastroenteritis in infants and young children. The virus enters the body through the mouth. Rotaviruses are shed in high concentration in the stool of infected persons. Transmission is by faecal-oral spread, both through close person-to-person contact and by fomites (such as toys and other environmental surfaces contaminated by stool).

Two vaccines are available in the market today.
  • Human monovalent live attenuated vaccine (Rotarix)
  • Human bovine pentavalent live vaccine (Rotateq)

It is administered orally.

Rotavirus Immunization schedule

Your baby will get either 2 or 3 doses, depending on which vaccine is used. Doses of rotavirus vaccine are recommended at these ages
  • First Dose: 2 months of age (after 6weeks)
  • Second Dose: 4 months of age
  • Third Dose: 6 months of age (not needed if the previous doses are of pentavalent vaccine)


Rotavirus vaccines have been shown to provide the greatest protection during first year. Efficacy in the second year of life appears to be lower, but further evaluation is required to understand in which populations and under what circumstances vaccine efficacy declines.

Side effects

Most babies who get rotavirus vaccine do not have any problems with it. But some problems have been associated with rotavirus vaccine:

Irritability, diarrhoea and vomiting

Reports of intussusception among rotavirus vaccine have been received. An intussusception is a medical condition in which a part of the intestine invaginates (folds into) into another section of intestine.