ABOUT THE VACCINE
- The rotavirus vaccine is given to babies starting at 2 months of age.
- The vaccine is given as a series of 2 doses. The first dose is given at 2 months of age, the second at 4 months.
- The vaccine is provided free as part of your child’s routine immunizations.
- The vaccine is given by mouth. A few drops of the liquid vaccine are placed into your baby's mouth to swallow.
- It is important that your baby gets the rotavirus vaccine on time. The first dose of the vaccine must be given before 20 weeks of age, and the vaccine series must be completed by 8 months of age.
- The virus from the vaccine may be found in your baby’s stool for at least 10 days after immunization. Parents and caregivers should wash their hands thoroughly after changing diapers.
The vaccine prevents more than 3 out of 4 cases of rotavirus disease, and almost all severe cases, including hospitalizations. When you get your child immunized, you help protect others as well.
- Has had a life-threatening reaction to a previous dose of rotavirus vaccine or any component of the vaccine.
- Has an immune system weakened by disease or medical treatment.
- There is a family history of weakened immune systems.
- Had intussusception or has an intestinal disorder that may result in intussusception.
- Babies who have moderate or severe diarrhea or vomiting or a serious illness should not be immunized until they have recovered from their illness.
ABOUT THE DISEASE
- Rotavirus is a virus that causes gastroenteritis, sometimes called the stomach flu.
- Rotavirus is easily spread through contact with the stools of an infected child, such as when handling diapers.
- Rotavirus is the most common cause of diarrhea and hospitalization for diarrhea in children under 5 years of age.
- Almost all unimmunized children will have at least one rotavirus infection before they are 5 years of age.
- The first symptoms of rotavirus infection are usually fever and vomiting, followed by diarrhea and stomach pain. These symptoms appear 1 to 3 days after a person has been infected with the virus. Diarrhea can last from 4 to 8 days.
- Severe and frequent diarrhea and/or vomiting can lead to dehydration in young children, and this may result in death if not treated.
Did you know?
Approximately 1 in 5 cases of all severe childhood diarrhea and vomiting are caused by rotavirus. Almost all Canadian children will be infected with rotavirus at least once by 5 years of age.