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Which babies should have the rotavirus vaccine?

The rotavirus vaccine is a routine childhood vaccination for babies aged two and three months.

The vaccine, which is given as a liquid from a dropper for babies to swallow, can be given at the same time as their other routine childhood vaccinations.

Your baby needs two rotavirus vaccinations at least a month apart to be fully protected. If they miss one of the vaccinations, the first one can be given a month later, at three months, and the second dose a month later, at four months, if necessary.

The rotavirus vaccination is only suitable for young babies and isn't offered to older children. The first dose cannot be given any later than 15 weeks and the second dose no later than 24 weeks. Babies can only have the second dose if they had their first dose before 15 weeks.

Are there any babies who should not have the rotavirus vaccination?

The vaccination should not be given to babies who:

  • are seriously ill with either diarrhoea and vomiting or a fever on the day of the appointment. If this is the case, it's best to postpone the vaccination until your baby has recovered. There's no need to delay rotavirus vaccination if your baby is well enough to have their other routine childhood vaccinations.
  • have certain long-term conditions, in which case speak to your GP first. Read about the specific long-term conditions that mean your baby should not have the rotavirus vaccine.
  • have reacted very badly (including with an anaphylactic reaction) to a previous dose of the vaccine, or to any of the substances that go into the vaccine. 
  • are older than 24 weeks of age.

The rotavirus vaccine and other vaccines

It's perfectly safe for your baby to have the rotavirus vaccine at the same time as other childhood vaccines such as the 5-in-1 and pneumococcal vaccines.

Get answers to some of the most common questions that parents ask about the rotavirus vaccine.

Article provided by NHS Choices

See original on NHS Choices

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