Is it safe for my child to get the rotavirus vaccine?

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Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
The rotavirus vaccine is a live oral vaccine, so it has side effects including vomiting and diarrhea -- exactly the symptoms it is supposed to protect against but exponentially milder than the disease itself. A prior version of this vaccine was withdrawn from the market in 1999 because it was linked to a severe condition known as intussusception, a blockage or telescoping of the intestine that may require surgery or a radiologic procedure and rarely can be fatal. The new vaccine, released in 2006, has not been associated with intussusception, but a version of it has had a forced recall due to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's concern about virus contamination. The vaccine now on the market seems to have been tested sufficiently for us to say that it has much more benefit than risk and that it prevented hospitalization in 1 out of every 200 children. If your child is in day care or exposed to other high-risk circumstances, we recommend that she receive it. If you plan on using babysitting services, even sporadically, we can now recommend this vaccine as well.
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YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

There’s little doubt that parenting can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences you’ll ever have. But it can be plenty tough, too: Around the clock, you’re working to keep your...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.