RotaTeq is a viral vaccine that helps protect your child against gastroenteritis (diarrhoea and vomiting) caused by rotavirus infection.

Rotavirus gastroenteritis may cause fever, vomiting, and diarrhoea. These symptoms can lead to the loss of body fluids (dehydration) and even death.

Rotavirus is the chief cause of severe dehydrating diarrhoea among infants and young children around the world. Before the vaccine was used, the virus was the cause for about 25 million physician visits per year. It also accounted for 2.1 million hospital admissions, and 352,000 to 592,000 deaths per year worldwide.

Rotavirus infects the small intestine and usually starts with fever and vomiting, followed by diarrhoea. The diarrhoea can be mild to severe and generally lasts 3-9 days. Severe vomiting and diarrhoea (more than 5 times each day) lasts an average of 3-6 days. Nearly all children are infected with rotavirus by the time they are 5 years old. This is true even where standards of hygiene are high.

How it works

RotaTeq works by causing your body to produce its own protection (antibodies) against the most common types or "strains" of rotavirus.

As with other vaccines, RotaTeq may not fully protect all those who get it. Some children may already have the virus but not yet show signs of being sick. In those cases, the vaccine may not be able to prevent the illness.

RotaTeq helps protect against diarrhoea and vomiting only if they are caused by rotavirus. It does not protect against them if they are caused by anything else.