Rotavirus Vaccine

Vaccine Information Leaflet

What the Rotavirus Vaccine Used for?

Infection with the rotavirus is a common cause of stomach flu (gastroenteritis) in infants and young children.

Rotavirus vaccines help to prevent stomach flu (especially severe diarrhoea) in infants and young children. Other symptoms of rotavirus infection include watery diarrhoea, vomiting or fever and dehydration, which may require hospitalization.

Rotavirus present in faeces of infected people spreads easily through hand-to-mouth contact and surfaces such as contaminated toys or dirty diapers. It can also be spread through the air by sneezing and coughing.

What Are the Types of Rotavirus Vaccines Available?

There are 2 types of vaccines available:

  1. Monovalent - contains 1 strain of the rotavirus

  2. Pentavalent - contains 5 different strains of the rotavirus

Who Should Receive the Rotavirus Vaccine?

Depending on the type of rotavirus vaccine:

  • Babies who are at least 6 weeks of age would need either two or three doses

  • The first dose must be administered by 12 or 16 weeks of age

  • The last dose must be administered by 24 or 32 weeks of age

Please consult your doctor for more advice.

What Precautions Should I Follow Before Receiving the Rotavirus Vaccine?

Inform your healthcare professional if:

  • Your child is allergic to this vaccine or any of the other ingredients of this vaccine

  • Your child previously had intussusception (a bowel obstruction where a portion of the intestines gets folded into another section of the intestine)

  • Your child was born with a malformation of the gut that could lead to intussusception

  • Your child has a condition which affects their immune system, e.g. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection or a rare inherited illness called Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID)

  • Your child is currently on medications which weaken their immune system (e.g. high dose steroids)

  • Your child is taking any other medications

  • Your child is currently not feeling well and having a fever

  • Your child is having diarrhoea or vomiting

  • Your child has recently received any other vaccines

How Is The Rotavirus Vaccine Given?

It is given through the mouth.

What Are Some Common Side-Effects Of The Rotavirus Vaccine?

  • Diarrhoea or vomiting

    • Increase fluid intake through small but frequent feeds throughout the day

  • Fever

    • Sponge your child with lukewarm water

    • Give your child paracetamol

  • Irritability, crying

    • These side effects usually go away on its own 

Please bring your child to see a doctor if these side effects do not get better or become worse. 

What Are Some Rare But Serious Side-Effects That I Need To Seek Medical Advice Immediately?

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:

  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue

  • Difficulty in breathing

  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

Rarely, intussusception may occur. Intussusception tends to occur during the first week after the first or second dose. Symptoms of intussusception may include:

  • Crying, with your child pulling their legs up to their chest

  • Persistent vomiting

  • Blood in the stools

  • Irritability

If your child experiences any of these symptoms, please bring him/her to see their healthcare professional immediately.


Please take note that the above is not a complete list of all possible side effects. If you have any concerns about your medication or if you have other side effects that you think are caused by this medication, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.

This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. The content does not reflect drug availability and supply information in pharmacies and healthcare institutions. You are advised to check with the respective institutions for such information.

Last updated on Oct 2022

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