Myths and misinformation about vaccine safety can confuse parents who are trying to make sound decisions about their baby’s health care.
Most of the parents know about the importance of Rotavirus vaccination for babies. But there are always many unanswered questions which instill an element of doubt in the safety of the vaccine. This article strives to eliminate those doubts with answers as a result of an exhaustive research done on the topic. I have quoted the reference below for each of the question posted.
Diarrhea is the leading killer of young children worldwide and Rotavirus is the common cause for severe diarrhea. If left untreated may lead to dehydration and death.
Each year it is estimated that around 453000 children suffer of Rotaviral Diarrhoea.
Brace yourself for a lengthy Q & A session on Rotaviral Vaccination.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
1. Is Rotavirus vaccine safe to give to my child ?
Yes, both the vaccines ( Rotarix and Rota-Teq) have successful record for safety and effectiveness.
2. What are the vaccines available in India?
As of now, 2 brands are available Rotarix by GSK and Rota Teq by Merck.
A low cost vaccine Rotavac, developed in India which costs Rs 54 only will be available by the end of this year.
3. Is Rotavirus vaccination mandatory vaccine in Immunization schedule?
No, Rotavirus vaccination is not included in our Indian National Immunization Schedule, but WHO recommends all the countries to include rotavirus vaccinations for infants in National Immunization Schedule.
4. At what age should be babies vaccinated?
Rotarix – Infants should receive 2 doses of this vaccine,
2 months and 4 months of age.
Rotateq – Infants should receive 3 doses of this vaccine,
2, 4 and 6 months of age.
Rotavirus vaccine is given orally.
5. Till what age can the vaccine be given?
The first dose of vaccine is most effective if it is givenbefore a baby is 15 weeks of age. A child should receive all the doses before 8 months of age.
Vaccine should not be initiated for infants aged 15 weeks or older because of insufficient data on safety of dose 1 in older infants.
6. How efficient is the Rotavirus vaccine?
Efficacy is around 85% to 98% protective against severe type of disease in the first year.
7. Can babies get rotavirus vaccination when in breastfeeding?
Yes, they can be vaccinated.
8. Who should not be vaccinated?
- Do not give the Rotavirus vaccination to an infant who has a history of severe allergic reaction (eg Anaphylatic reaction) to a previous dose of rotavirus vaccine or to any vaccine component. See reference for the ingredients of the vaccine
- The oral applicator of Rotarix contains latex, so it should not be given baby with known allergy to latex, Rota-Teq dosing tube is latex free.
- Babies with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disease (SCID) and history of Intussusception should not receive the vaccination.
- If the baby is ill with diarrhea,vaccination can be postponed.
9. Can Preterm Babies be vaccinated?
- Chronological age at least 6 weeks.
- Clinically stable.
- Vaccine should be administered at time of discharge or after discharge from NICU.
11. If the baby spits out the vaccine, should we give more?
ACIP recommends providers not to repeat the dose if the baby regurgitates or spits out.
Yes, it is absolutely safe to breastfeed after vaccination.
14. Can Rotarix and Rota Teq be used Interchangeably? If so what is the schedule?
ACIP recommends to complete the vaccination with the same vaccine whenever possible, but if the vaccine product is unknown, then the course should be completed with 3 doses with 4 weeks apart each, the last one should be completed before the age of 8 months.
15. If the first dose of vaccine is inadvertently given to a baby aged 15 weeks or older, can the series be continued?
Yes, it can be given and the other doses must be given as per schedule and all doses completed before 8 months.
If you have any more queries, please leave a comment below, or Contact Me. I will get back to you ASAP.
I have heard about serious side effects of rotavirus vaccine , are they true?
Rotaviral vaccination side effects – FAQs
Please click the above link to view the question.
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Download the Current IAP vaccination schedule Here
The information presented here is meant as a guide and does not replace professional medical advice. You should always discuss your baby’s vaccination with your doctor.
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1. a) http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/ApprovedProducts/ucm205547.htm
c) http://www.who.int/vaccine_safety/committee/topics/rotavirus/rotashield/13Jan_2006_rotavirus_vaccines safety/en
2. a) http://www.indiabioscience.org/news/bharat-biotech-rolls-out-low-cost-vaccine-against-rotavirus- diarrhea
b) Cortese MM, Immergluck LC, Held M, Jain S, Chan T, Grizas AP, et al. Effectiveness of monovalent and pentavalent rotavirus vaccineExternal Web Site Icon. Pediatrics. 2013;132(1):e25-33.
8. a) Ingredients of Rotarix – http://www.nhs.uk/medicine-guides/pages/MedicineAbout.aspx?condition=Vaccinations%20(all)&medicine=Rotarix&preparation=
11. Rotavirus, Epidemiology, and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable DiseasesThe Pink Book: Course Textbook – 12th Edition Second Printing (May 2012)
14,15. Payne DC, Boom JA, Staat MA, Edwards KM, Szilagyi PG, Klein EJ, et al. Effectiveness of pentavalent and monovalent rotavirus vaccines in concurrent use among US children <5 years of age, 2009-2011External Web Site Icon. Clin Infect Dis. 2013;57(1):13-20.
Ann Francis says
Please I wasn’t aware of rotavirus and my baby is almost 7months. Can she still be given the vaccine?
Dr Hemapriya says
It’s better to get confirmation from your pediatrician dear.
SUMAN DAS says
Baby DOB- 14-05-2018.
We missed Rotavirus vacc. due to unawareness, can we give it now after 16 weeks ?
Also if anyone missed it completely then is there anything wrong with baby when become adult, as one of my friend has 3 years kid and didn’t get this vaccine.
The first dose can be given up to 15 weeks. Consult with your pediatrician immediately and take it further please…
Kanika Dhingra says
Hi Doctor…..My baby’s pediatrician gave him 3 doses of Rotarix knowingly. At that time I was not aware that only 2 doses of Rotarix are required. I got confused because on the card 3 doses of rotavirus were mentioned. But,later on discovered that only 2 doses were required.
My baby is2.5 now, but I always have this fear in my mind that vis there going to be a side effect of 3 doses of Rotarix?? Please please reply ?
Don’t worry dear. It will not create any harm to your baby.
Hi, my baby is 33wks and 3 days and just gotten his last dose of rotavirus. I just read that thw limit is 32 weeks. Is it okay?
Dr Hemapriya says
Yes dear, it is fine.
My baby is 7months old..she got vaccinated properly but Rotavirus and PCV got missed due to unawareness.
Now, today we went to a pediatrician and he gave a shot of Rotavirus & PCV today after 7th month.
Plz help me..is he doing right thing?
Coz i read online that their three shots should be given before 8months of age.
Dr Hemapriya says
Hi Himanika, It is better to give according to your paed’s advice. You can consult another pediatrcian if you require.
Abhishek Sarathe says
Does it important to complete the rotavirus dose,my baby had his 1st dose in 3rd month, I am worried does it really important to complete all 3 doses, kindly guide.
Can rotavirus vaccination be given after 17 weeks in india? Plz help
My baby will complete 4 months on 10th of may..we follow her immunization schedule..but due to inadequate info bout rotavirus vaccine pnemucoccal vaccine we strtd her these two vaccines a bit late..she was given her first dose of these two vaccines wen she was 3 months old on dated 13th april.2015..nxt dose is due on 13th..may now ..
i want to know ..will this late doses of these two vaccines will be effective or not?
Dr Hemapriya says
Hi, don’t worry, since you have already given the first better give this dose too,
Divya Karthick says
My daughter will complete 9 months on 31st of may,so far v gave all vaccinations as per schedule in India.. Now we are planning to move to Malaysia during may 1st week as my husband is working there. S t Ok f I give her a 9th month vaccination(measles) in Malaysia or I need to vaccinate in india ly!
Dr Hemapriya says
You cna give the 9 month vaccination in Malaysia
Can rotavirus vaccination be given after 17 weeks? Or 4 months??