Rotarix: Live oral Rotavirus vaccine

Rotarix: Live oral Rotavirus vaccine

ROTARIX is a vaccine indicated for the prevention of rotavirus gastroenteritis caused by G1 and non-G1 types (G3, G4, and G9). ROTARIX is approved for use in infants 6 weeks and up to 24 weeks of age.

How is Rotarix oral vaccine available?

Rotarix oral vaccine is available as lyophilized powder form and sterile liquid for reconstitution. It looks translucent pink liquid which is slightly cloudy. It comes in plastic bottle which can be easily opened and a cork which can be sqeezed attached to it. It comes in 1 ml pack single dose.

How is Rotarix oral vaccine stored?

Rotarix oral vaccine is stored at 2-8 degree Celsius. The temperature range should be maintained at all stages of transport and storage. If frozen should be discarded. 

How is Rotarix oral vaccine given?

Rotarix oral vaccine is given orally after opening the bottle by moving the aluminium seal. The vaccine should be reconstituted using the syringe and the nozzle given with the vaccine. The sterile water is first sucked in to the syringe. It is pushed in the lyophilized powder. Agitated for few seconds and sucked back to syringe. shaken before opening. The dose is 1 ml. It should be given in mouth of the baby and the syringe is squeezed to pour the liquid in the baby’s mouth. Baby should be comfortable preferably on parents lap show that baby does not spit the medicine and it drinks majority of the dose. After giving the vaccine the disposables are discarded as per bio medical waste management protocol. If baby spits majority of dose one ore single dose can be given in same sitting.

At what age Rotarix oral vaccine is given?

Rotarix oral vaccine is given as three doses. The first dose is given at 6 weeks of age followed by other doses at 10 weeks. For Rotarix vaccine only 2 doses are needed. After giving first dose at 6 weeks the next does should be given before 24 weeks of age. The time duration between 2 Rotarix oral vaccine should be at least 4 weeks. According to WHO the Rotavirus vaccination should be completed before 1 year of age. This vaccine is not indicated for those above 2 years of age as rotavirus diarrhea causes maximum incidences and mortality under 2 years of age.

Can Rotarix oral vaccine be given with other vaccines? 

Yes Rotarix oral vaccine can be safely given with BCG vaccine, DPT, Hepatitis B, HiB, IPV and pneumococcal vaccine. This vaccine is safe and maintains efficacy even if given with oral polio vaccine. There no restriction to feeding including breast feeding after giving this vaccine.

Can baby take breast feed after taking Rotarix oral vaccine?

Yes, it is ok to give feeding including breast feeding after the Rotarix oral vaccine. It won’t decrease the efficacy of the vaccine neither it will be harmful to the baby.

How does Rotarix vaccine works?

Rotarix oral vaccine  contains live attenuated viruses of Rotavirus G1 and non G1 strains. Live attenuated means these are live virus but they lack capacity to cause disease though they have capacity to infect. When these viruses are given orally  by vaccine they infect the person who got the injection. They multiply in the body of the host. The immunity of the host recognizes these viruses. The immunity develops mechanism to fight these viruses. In this process the body also develops the memory immunity. When the real infection of these diseases occur the body rapidly increases the immune response and the disease is prevented. This is active form of immunization.

What are side effects of Rotarix oral vaccine?

Side effects of Rotarix oral vaccine are usually milder when compared to the disease caused by the rotavirus. Benefits outweigh the harm that’s why it is used.

· Fever can be moderate grade and usually subsides by its own. Usually fever can be managed at home with the help of oral medication like paracetamol.

· Irritability can be seen after the vaccination. Usually this side effect is self limiting and decreases by its own after some hours.

· Decreased appetite can be observed after the vaccination. This side effect also subsides with its own.

· Vomiting is known to occur in some patients after the vaccination. It can be managed at home with increasing feeding frequency to maintain hydration status and also some patients may need antiemetic drops like domstal or ondansetron.

· Diarrhea is known side effect of the vaccine and is usually self limiting. It can be managed at home by increasing the frequency of the feeding.

All these side effects are also associated with DPT-HiB-IPV-Hepatitis B (Infanrix hexaEasySixPentavacHexaxim) which is usually given together this vaccine

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