What you need to know about the Rotavirus vaccine

Fact Checked

The Rotavirus vaccine is made up of up to five different strains of the rotavirus, and is obtained from human sources as well as animal sources. When small children and infants are infected with the virus, it causes damage to different parts of the digestive system. This leads to serious stomach disorders, and it is for this reason that the vaccine is provided.

How does the vaccine work?

When the child is administered the vaccine orally, their body gets exposed to minimal doses of the virus in inactive form. The result is that the body builds up defense so that in the event of an actual infection, the body will provide immunity from the infection. It is important however, to note that the Rotavirus vaccine does not provide any immunity for an infection that is present as at the time of administration of the vaccine. The oral vaccine can only be used for children who are between 6 weeks and 32 weeks, which is approximately 8 months of age.

Are there any possible side effects of the vaccine given for Rotavirus?

Whenever your child is vaccinated for the rotavirus, make sure that you monitor their progress. This will enable you to keep track of any side effects. If need be, when a second booster dose is given, you will be able to tell the pediatrician whether there were any effects. It is obvious that a rotavirus infection poses more danger than the side effects of the Rotavirus vaccine, especially because the latter is less likely to happen. With this knowledge, you must contact your pediatrician if your child starts to show any of the following reactions:

  • Shallow labored breathing.
  • Swollen face. In some cases, the lips and tongue will also become reddened and swollen.
  • Convulsions
  • Severe diarrhea or the presence of stool that has a very deep dark red coloration
  • High fever that is sometimes accompanied by rashes on the skin
  • Inexplicable appetite loss and often presented with vomiting.

This is not an exhaustive list of all the possible side effects of the vaccine, and parents /guardians must always be on the lookout for any effects that deviate from the norm.

Important information about the Rotavirus vaccine

  • The vaccine should not be administered to children who have previously had a serious allergic reaction stemming from the oral vaccine.
  • The vaccine must not be administered to children who have an intestinal problem commonly referred to as intussusception.
  • If the child is down with a serious illness, hold up before having the vaccine administered to aid with the process of recuperation.
  • Ensure that you clean your hands thoroughly after changing the diapers of a child who has just been received the Rotavirus vaccine. This is done because traces of the vaccine may be passed after defecation, thus posing a risk to other who may come into contact with it.
  • Lastly, ensure that your child gets all the recommended doses of the vaccine since they may not be effective if they are given in between long periods. These periods ought not to exceed 10 weeks.

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