Rotateq: Live oral Rotavirus vaccine

Rotateq: Live oral Rotavirus vaccine

Rotateq vaccine is a vaccine indicated for the prevention of rotavirus gastroenteritis caused by G1 and non-G1 types. Rotateq vaccine is approved for use in infants 6 weeks and up to 24 weeks of age .This vaccine is a pentavalent live attenuated vaccine thet can be given orally.

How is Rotateq vaccine available?

Rotateq vaccine is available as ready to use liquid form in plastic bottle. Each bottle contains single dose of 2 ml. It is given in opaque packet to protect it from light..

How is Rotateq vaccine stored?

Rotateq 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. The vaccine should be used expiry. It should be discarded if already passed expiry. While discarding vaccine standard biomedical waste protocol is followed to protect the environment.

How is Rotateq vaccine given?

Rotateq vaccine is given orally after opening the bottle by moving the cork counter-clockwise. The bottle should be slightly agitated before touching the cork, so that the liquid vaccine accumulates at the bottom of the tube. The cork is then moved clockwise to puncture the dispensing  upper tip of the bottle. Then the vaccine is ready to administered is opened counter-clockwise.

At what age Rotateq vaccine is given?

Rotateq vaccine is given as three doses. The first dose is given at 6 weeks of age followed by other doses at 10 weeks. For Rotateq vaccine only 3  doses are needed. After giving first dose at 6 weeks the next does should be given after 4-10 weeks and third dose 4-8 weeks after the second dose. The time duration between 2 Rotateq 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 Rotateq vaccine be given with other vaccines? 

Yes Rotateq 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 Rotateq vaccine?

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

How does Rotateq vaccine works?

Rotateq 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 Rotateq vaccine?

Side effects of This 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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