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Rotavirus Vaccine: What You Need To Know

Rotavirus is one of the most severe causes of diarrhoea, although there are many other too. It is important for parents to understand the importance of a rotavirus vaccine since just the presence of clean and sanitary conditions does not prevent its spread.

Being a communicable disease, it spread quickly from person to person. This vaccine is given orally to your child and hence does not cause the hassle and pain of an injection like other vaccines. Rota-virus was a common disease among kids before the discovery of this vaccine and the virus was the cause of many other diseases.

Talking about dosage, two to three doses of this vaccine are given to your baby before the age of 8 months. This vaccine is available at any nearby, mostly government approved hospital. Your baby must get a dose of this vaccine every 2 months, 4 months and 6 months.

Try to avoid the vaccine if your baby is any less than 6 months or any older than 8 months (the vaccine stops its effect after the age of 8 months and hence would be redundant). Parents need to note that getting this vaccine done for your child does not make them immune to diarrhoea from other sources, but only from rotavirus. There are other factors which might cause diarrhoea or vomiting, but they are not as fatal as rotavirus.

Some babies have an allergic reaction to these rotavirus doses and parents need to be alert. Tell your doctor about this and get your baby tested for any allergies that you might not know about. After you have given the vaccine to them, babies might face mild reactions such as irritation or mild temporary diarrhoea and vomiting.

After you get the vaccine done, if you see reactions such as – weakness, hoarseness, difficulty in breathing, paleness, dizziness, hives or any types of swelling, immediately contact your doctor and tell them everything that happened.   

People who should wait before getting a rotavirus vaccine:

1. A baby who has had an allergic or life threatening reaction to the first dose of the vaccine.

2. Babies with ‘Severe combined immunodeficiency’ should not get a rotavirus vaccine done.

3. It is alright to get this vaccine done if your child is mildly ill. But if your baby happens to be severely ill, then it is advisable to wait for a little while, so as to let your little one recover before getting the vaccine done.

4. Check with your doctor if everything is fine with your baby’s immune system and health so as to go for the vaccine. If the doctor advises against it or tells you to wait for some time, then it is best to follow your doctor’s advice.

If you are curious and would like to know more about the vaccine, you can always approach your health care provider or local/state health department.

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