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Immunization Schedule, Children (cont.)

Rotavirus Vaccine

In February 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved an oral vaccine for rotavirus (RotaTeq). It is currently the only vaccine approved in the United States for prevention of rotavirus gastroenteritis as of the date of this publication. RotaTeq is recommended by the CDC as part of the regularly scheduled vaccines and is administered to all infants in a three-dose series starting in infants 6-12 weeks of age and completing before the infant is 32 weeks of age.

Clinical trials found that RotaTeq prevented 74% of all rotavirus gastroenteritis cases, nearly all severe rotavirus gastroenteritis cases, and nearly all hospitalizations. A previously marketed rotavirus vaccine (RotaShield) was associated with intussusception (blockage of the intestine) and was removed from the market, but RotaTeq did not show an increased risk compared with placebo in clinical trials.

  • First dose: Given between 6-12 weeks of age


  • Second dose: Given 4-10 weeks following the first dose


  • Third dose: Given 4-10 weeks following the second dose (must be given before 32 weeks of age [about 8 months old])


  • Side effects include diarrhea, vomiting, or swollen nasal passages
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