Alberta Health Services
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.
Your child may not be able to get this vaccine if:
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.
Your child can get the vaccine at your local public health or community health centre.
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).
The rotavirus vaccine protects your child against gastroenteritis (diarrhea and vomiting) caused by rotavirus infection. Protection is:
Vaccine safety is a top priority. Canada uses extremely safe vaccines. Learn more about vaccine safety in Canada, including how vaccines are monitored for continued safety, and ingredients in vaccines.
There can be side effects from the rotavirus vaccine, but they tend to be mild and go away in a few days. Side effects may include:
At least 1 out of 100 people who got this vaccine reported 1 or more of these side effects. In some cases, it is unknown if the vaccine caused these side effects.
It’s important to stay at the clinic for 15 minutes after your vaccine. Some people may have a rare but serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. If anaphylaxis happens, you will get medicine to treat the symptoms.
It’s rare to have a serious side effect. Call Health Link at 811 to report any serious or unusual side effects.
There is a very low risk (1 to 7 cases per 100,000) of intussusception after the rotavirus vaccine. Intussusception is when a part of the intestine slides into another part (like a telescope). This causes a blockage. If this happens, it’s usually within 7 days after the first dose. The risk of intussusception is even lower after the second or third dose. Intussusception needs medical treatment and sometimes surgery.
There can be mild, short-term side effects after getting a vaccine. Find tips to manage these side effects at home.