About the rotavirus vaccine

  • The rotavirus vaccine protects infants against diarrhea and vomiting caused by rotavirus. It does not protect against diarrhea and vomiting caused by other viruses
  • The current rotavirus vaccine administered in the Yukon is called RotaTeq®. This vaccine is given by mouth and consists of a few drops of sweet tasting liquid.
  • The virus from the vaccine may be found in your baby’s stool for at least 10 days after immunization. Parents and caregivers should wash their hands thoroughly after changing diapers.

  • The Rotavirus vaccine is provided free as part of the routine Yukon Children’s Immunization Program.
  • The RotaTeq® vaccine is given as a series of 3 doses at 2 months, 4 months and 6 months of age.
  • The 1st dose must be given before 5 months of age (20 weeks), and the vaccine series must be completed by 8 months. It is very important to receive the immunizations on time.
  • Rotavirus is a viral infection that infects the stomach and intestines.
  • It is most common in children and about 95% of children will have at least one rotavirus infection before the age of 5.
  • Approximately 1 in 5 cases of all severe childhood diarrhea and vomiting are caused by rotavirus.
  • It’s a common cause of gastroenteritis, sometimes called the stomach flu.
  • The symptoms appear 1 to 3 days after infection and include diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pains in infants and young children. Diarrhea can last from 4 to 8 days.
  • Frequent and severe diarrhea and vomiting can lead to dehydration and may result in death if left untreated.
  • The virus spreads easily through direct contact with infected individuals or contact with contaminated objects or food. This includes contact with the feces (poop) of an infected child, such as the handling of diapers.
  • Adults who get rotavirus disease and anyone who is infected for a 2nd time with rotavirus tend to have milder symptoms.
  • The vaccine prevents more than 3 out of 4 cases of rotavirus disease, and almost all severe cases, including hospitalizations.
  • This vaccine is safe and effective.
  • The rotavirus vaccine is the best way to protect against rotavirus and its complications.
  • This vaccine is given by mouth, rather than by injection. It’s sweet tasting and has been shown to have some pain prevention properties in infants.
  • When your infant gets vaccinated, it helps protect the spread to others too.
  • This immunization is free in the Yukon.
  • Most babies do not have any reactions after they get the rotavirus vaccine. Some may have a fever or experience diarrhea, vomiting, and crankiness after immunization.
  • There is a small increased risk of intussusception of between 1 and 7 cases per 100,000 doses in the 7 days following both the 1st and 2nd doses.
  • Some people may develop a fever, irritability, fatigue or digestive problems. These are generally mild and last 1 to2 days.
  • Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be given for temperatures 38.5C or higher.
  • See a doctor if your child has intense crying, swollen tummy, frequent vomiting or blood in their stools.
  • It’s important to stay in the clinic for 15 minutes after getting any immunization because there is a rare possibility of developing a severe allergic reaction which is treatable at the clinic. This happens to fewer than 1 in 1 million people. If it happens after you leave the clinic, call 911 or the local emergency number. If you or your child experiences any serious or unexpected reactions, contact your physician and report all severe reactions to one of the nurses at your local Health Centre.

RotaTeq® potential allergens include:

  • fetal bovine serum; and
  • polysorbate 80. 

Find out how to get immunized