The rotavirus vaccine currently licensed in the United States, Rotateq, has shown to be quite effective against rotavirus disease. Rotavirus vaccine is an oral (swallowed) vaccine that is not given by injection. Rotavirus vaccine will not prevent diarrhea or vomiting caused by other germs. However, the vaccine will prevent 74 percent of all rotavirus cases, about 98 percent of severe cases, and about 96 percent of hospitalizations due to rotavirus.
Kids should get three doses of rotavirus vaccine. They are recommended at the following ages:
- First dose: two months. The first dose should be given between the ages of 6 and 12 weeks. The vaccine has not been studied when started among kids outside that age range.
- Second dose: four months.
- Third dose: six months. Kids should have all three doses by age 32 weeks.
Rotavirus vaccine may be given at the same time as other childhood vaccines. Kids who get the vaccine may be fed normally afterward.