Rotavirus immunisation

Rotavirus immunisation

Immunisation protects against rotavirus - a common tummy bug that children catch easily. Rotavirus causes vomiting and diarrhoea (runny, watery poo/tūtae).

Key points to remember 

  • infants younger than 15 weeks of age can have the rotavirus vaccination free of charge 
  • rotavirus is a common tummy bug that children catch easily
  • rotavirus causes vomiting and diarrhoea (runny, watery poo/tūtae) which can lead to dehydration 
  • immunisation protects against rotavirus - it prevents infection in 70 percent of infants, and severe infection in 98 percent of infants
  • the rotavirus vaccines are given to babies as part of their 6 week, 3 month and 5 month immunisations
  • if you miss these dates, you can catch up, but the first vaccine must be given before 15 weeks of age - this is so the course of 3 vaccines can be completed before babies are 8 months old
  • rotavirus vaccine is not given to babies older than 8 months because the risk of serious reactions increases after this age
  • the vaccine protects young children while they are most at risk from dehydration
  • rotavirus vaccine is given orally - it's simply squirted into your baby's mouth 
  • it's important to wash and dry hands carefully after changing nappies and before touching food to stop the spread of the virus

This page last reviewed 25 August 2015.
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