Rotavirus Vaccine Information
The rotavirus vaccine (Rotarix®, RotaTeq®) is a childhood vaccine approved to prevent rotavirus, a common but potentially serious childhood infection that can cause severe diarrhea and may result in hospitalization (and rarely, in death).
This vaccine is a live attenuated vaccine. This means that it contains the living virus which has been altered in such a way as to prevent it from actually causing disease. However, the body's immune system still responds to it, providing future protection from the disease.
There are currently two different rotavirus vaccines available on the market. One is given as two separate doses, while the other is given as three doses. These simple dosing schedules are flexible enough to coincide nicely with standard well-baby visits. The rotavirus vaccine is one of the few vaccines that are given by mouth (not as an injection).
(For more information, click Rotavirus Vaccine. This article takes an in-depth look at the vaccine, including dosing guidelines, possible side effects, and warnings to be aware of with this product.)