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Serious Side Effects Seen With the Rotavirus Vaccine

There are a number of rare but serious side effects with the rotavirus vaccine or other childhood vaccines that you should report to your child's healthcare provider. These include, but are not limited to:
 
  • A high fever
  • Any unusual behavior changes (aside from the usual fussiness that typically occurs after vaccinations)
  • A seizure
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as:

 

    • An unexplained rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Swelling of the mouth or throat
    • Wheezing
    • Difficulty breathing.

 

A previously marketed rotavirus vaccine (RotaShield®) was taken off the market due to the risk of a serious intestinal side effect known as intussusception (when one portion of the bowel slides over the other, creating a blockage).
 
Preliminary results from a study in Mexico indicate there may be an increased risk of intussusceptions in the first 31 days after the first dose of Rotarix. Most of these cases occurred within the first 7 days of the 31-day period. The information currently available for RotaTeq does not suggest an increase in risk of intussusceptions with RotaTeq.
 
It is important to seek immediate medical attention if your child develops symptoms of this problem, such as:
 
  • Intense abdominal pain
  • Inconsolable shrieking
  • Bringing the knees to the chest
  • Bright-red "currant jelly" stool
  • Vomiting of green bile.
     
Very rare cases of Kawasaki disease have also been reported (too rare to know if there is any link to the vaccine). This disorder can be life-threatening if left untreated. Signs of Kawasaki disease include:
 
  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Red mouth and eyes
  • Swollen hands and feet
  • Swollen glands.
     
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
List of references (click here):
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