Rotavirus is a very contagious disease that can cause severe and life-threatening diarrhoea. Rotavirus infection can result in dehydration and hospitalisation.
Vaccination is a safe and effective way to protect you from rotavirus.
Who should get vaccinated against rotavirus
The Australian Immunisation Handbook recommends all infants receive a course of oral rotavirus vaccine before they are 6 months old.
Rotavirus vaccine is free under the National Immunisation Program for children children aged 2 months and 4 months.
The age limits for rotavirus vaccines are very strict. If your child misses a dose or is late in getting their vaccine, they might not be able to be vaccinated.
Older children and adults should not get a rotavirus vaccine.
How to get vaccinated against rotavirus
Rotavirus vaccines are oral vaccines, not needles. The vaccine is a small amount of liquid in a tube that your doctor will squeeze onto the inside of your baby’s mouth.
Rotavirus vaccines include:
* Indicates National Immunisation Program vaccine.
Your vaccination provider will tell you which vaccine they will give your baby.
Find product information and consumer medicine information for each available vaccine from the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
Where to get vaccinated
You can get your vaccine from a range of vaccination providers. Find out where and more about your vaccination visit at getting vaccinated.
Possible side effects of rotavirus vaccination
You may experience minor side effects following vaccination. Most reactions are mild and last no more than a couple of days and you will recover without any problems.
Common side effects of rotavirus vaccines include:
- Vomiting and diarrhoea can occur up to 7 days following vaccination.
A very rare side effect of rotavirus vaccine is intussusception, a rare form of bowel blockage that is treated in hospital. There is a very small risk of this occurring in a baby in the first week after receiving the first dose of rotavirus vaccine, and a smaller risk after the second vaccine dose. The baby has bouts of crying, looks pale, gets very irritable and pulls the legs up to the abdomen because of pain. Seek medical attention and inform of recent rotavirus vaccination if your baby experiences this reaction.
Talk to your vaccination provider about possible side effects of rotavirus vaccines, or if your child has possible side effects that worry you.
The Consumer Medicine Information available on the Therapeutic Goods Administration website lists the ingredients and side effects of each vaccine.
Learn more about the possible side effects of vaccination.