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The rotavirus vaccines

Sarah Kelsey is a lifestyle writer, editor and spokesperson based in Toronto. She was the editor of AOL/The Huffington Post Canada’s StyleList, Style and Living sites. Today, she's a freelancer writing for some of North America’s top pub...

Preventing rotavirus

Rotavirus is an infectious disease that attacks the intestinal tract. The potentially serious illness can be prevented with the rotavirus vaccines.

Rotavirus

What is rotavirus?

Rotavirus is an airborne infection that attacks the lining of the intestines. The illness can be quite serious, causing severe vomiting and diarrhea. There are two vaccines to combat the condition: RotaTeq and Rotarix. Both are given orally.

Who gets it?

All young children should receive the vaccination as part of their routine immunization schedules. RotaTeq is given in three doses (at 2, 4 and 6 months), while Rotarix is given in two (at 2 and 4 months).

What are the side effects?

A small number of children who receive the vaccine report mild side effects, including temporary diarrhea, vomiting and fever.

Vaccine recommendations

The US Food and Drug Administration as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the vaccine for all young children.

What you need to know

Any child who experiences a severe reaction to a previous dose of the vaccine should not continue with the vaccination schedule. Also, any child who has a severe allergic reaction to latex should avoid Rotarix, because the applicator used to administer the vaccine is made exclusively of the rubber material. These chidren should get RotaTeq instead.

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