What Should You Tell Your Healthcare Provider?
You should talk with your child's healthcare provider before vaccination if your child has:
- A history of intussusception (a problem where one part of the bowel moves into the next)
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- A blood disorder
- A gastrointestinal (digestive) problem or condition
- An immune-suppressing condition such as HIV or AIDS, diabetes, or cancer
- Had any sort of a reaction to any vaccine in the past
- A moderate to severe illness
- Any relatives (or other close contacts) with a weakened immune system
- Any allergies, including allergies to latex, foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Make sure to tell the healthcare provider about any medicines your child is taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Precautions and Warnings With the Rotavirus Vaccine to learn more, including information on who should not take the drug.)
What About RotaShield?
In 1999, a different version of the rotavirus vaccine (called RotaShield) was removed from the market after it was found to be associated with a rare type of bowel obstruction called intussusception. Intussusception is a serious and life-threatening event that occurs when a part of the intestine gets blocked or twisted.
Both RotaTeq and Rotarix are different from the vaccine removed from the market. During clinical studies prior to the approval of RotaTeq and Rotarix, there was no apparent increased risk of intussusception. However, since approval, a number of cases of intussusception were reported in infants who received these vaccines.
Intussusception occurred at various times after vaccination. Some of these infants required hospitalization and surgery on their intestine or a special enema to treat this problem. It is important to remember that these cases occurred so rarely that they could be completely unrelated to the vaccine.
Nonetheless, be sure to call your child's healthcare provider right away if your child has any possible symptoms of intussusception, such as vomiting, diarrhea, severe stomach pain, blood in the stool, or a change in bowel movements.
It is important to contact your healthcare provider if you have questions or if your child has any of these symptoms, at any time after vaccination, even if it has been several weeks since the last dose (or even if your child has never received the vaccine).