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Rotavirus (Rot/Rot-5) vaccine

Learn about the rotavirus vaccine, effectiveness, side effects, and safety.

Disease it protects from

Who should get this vaccine

As part of the routine immunization schedule, babies get this vaccine starting at age 2 months. Unlike most vaccines, your child will get the rotavirus vaccine by mouth (instead of with a needle). It is given as a liquid that your child can swallow.

Who should not get this vaccine

Your child may not be able to get this vaccine if:

  • They have diarrhea (watery stool) or vomiting (throwing up). They may need to wait until these symptoms go away before getting the vaccine.
  • They have an allergy to any part of the vaccine.
  • They had a severe (serious) or unusual side effect after this vaccine or one like it.
  • They have or may have a weak immune system, for example, because of medicine they take or a health problem.
  • They have a family history of a weak immune system.
  • They have an inherited problem in their intestines that hasn’t been fixed with surgery, such as a Meckel’s diverticulum.
  • They have ever had intussusception.

If your child has allergies or has had a side effect from this vaccine, check with your child’s doctor or a public health nurse before they get the vaccine. Tell your child’s healthcare provider if you took medicine while you were pregnant or breastfeeding. Some medicines can make your child’s immune system weak.

Although your child can get the vaccine if they have a mild illness, such as a cold or fever, they should stay home until they are feeling better to prevent spreading their illness to others.


Your child needs either 2 or 3 doses of this vaccine. This vaccine is given by mouth at ages 2 and 4 months or at ages 2, 4, and 6 months.

Check with your public health nurse to find out how many doses your baby needs.

Get the vaccine

Your child can get the vaccine at your local public health or community health centre.

After getting the vaccine

The vaccine virus may be in your baby’s poop for up to 10 days after they get the vaccine. Wash your hands carefully after changing diapers and before touching food. The risk of spreading the virus after getting the vaccine is highest around day 7, but this isn’t common.

Your child can still have the vaccine if they live with someone who’s pregnant or has a weak immune system. But anyone with a weak immune system should not change your child’s diapers for 10 days after your child had the rotavirus vaccine (if this is possible).

Current as of: June 30, 2023
Author: Provincial Immunization Program, Alberta Health Services
Our work takes place on historical and contemporary Indigenous lands, including the territories of Treaty 6, Treaty 7 & Treaty 8 and the homeland of the Métis Nation of Alberta and 8 Métis Settlements. We also acknowledge the many Indigenous communities that have been forged in urban centres across Alberta.