Detailed discussion about Rotavirus vaccine

Detailed discussion about Rotavirus vaccine

 Diarrhea is still a major cause of mortality around the world. Especially children aged less than 5 years it is very common cause of mortality and morbidity. Diarrhea leads to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance if not managed well. Across the world the healthcare may not be available on time or parents may not know the seriousness of the condition and child may be ignored till it is late. Diarrhea if chronic may affect the growth of the children and may cause malnutrition. Rotavirus vaccine is used to prevent rotavirus diarhea.
Among children and especially malnourished children diarrhea puts sever impact on health. 
What are causes of diarrhea in children and infants?There are plenty but they can be grossly classifies as infectious and non infectious. Infectious diarrhea is far more common then non infectious diarrhea.

  • Viral diarrhea : Rotavirus, Norovirus, Adenovirus, Astrovirus and many others.
  • Bacterial causes : Cholera, E. Coli, Shiegella
  • Parasite infections.
  • Food poisoning

Above all are the common causes of diarrhea. Among all above Rotavirus diarrhea is very common cause of diarrhea that mainly severely affects below age 2 years.

What is Rotavirus?

  • It is Virus as its name implies. 
  • Icosahedral shape.
  •       It has its own RNA.
  • There are 7 sero groups have (A–G).
  • Group A rotaviruses most commonly causes diarrhea in children.
  • The viral outer capsid is made of VP7 and VP4 proteins.

How does Rotavirus spread?

  1. The Rotavirus spreads most commonly person-to-person contact and also poor hygienic or sanitary conditions.
  2. Rotavirus spread by fecal-oral spread, close person-to-person contact and by fomites.
  3. Rotaviruses are also transmitted by other modes such as respiratory droplets. 
  4. So this is the reason that Rotavirus spread can not be prevented by simple Hygiene and sanitation. 
  5. In fact due to its capacity to spread by other routes make it most common cause of diarrhea even in affluent societies with comparatively good hygiene and sanitation.

How Does Rotavirus infection manifests? 

  • It Is mainly seen as diarrhea in infants and children.
  • It can be asymptomatic to sever.
  • Sever cases may present with large volume watery stools
  • May lead to sever dehydration very quickly
  • May need admission if dehydration is not controllable with oral rehydration therapy.
  • In some cases vomiting, colicky pain and fever may accompany
  • Child may die because of dehydration if is not managed quickly.
  • Rotavirus diarhea can be prevented by vaccination.

How to prevent Rotavirus infection?

Rotavirus vaccine prevents children from Rotavirus diarrhea.     

It is live vaccine given orally.

What is Rotavirus vaccine?

  • The Rotavirus vaccines are live vaccine type.
  • The live virus without disease causing capacity is orally.
  • It is of two types : Monovalent and pantavalent.
  • Both are nearly equal in efficacy and safety.

When is rotavirus vaccine administered?

  • It is administered orally.
  • Given at age 6 weeks.
  • Subsequent doses can be given 4 weeks apart at 10 and 14 weeks.
  • The first dose if delayed should never be given later than age 14 weeks and 6 days.
  • Last dose should not be given later than age 8 months.

What is efficacy of Rotavirus vaccine?

  • Rotavirus vaccine is very effective in its purpose
  • It prevents nearly 85 to 90 percent rotavirus diarrhea instances till 2 years age.
  • It prevent nearly 70 percent of all diarrhea occurring in children less than 2 years age.
  • So in all children rather than managing diarrhea and putting strain on the already scarce infrastructure prevention is better and cost effective.

What are side effects of Rotavirus vaccine?

  • Most feared side effect is intestinal intussusception.
  • But still it is very rare among those received vaccines.
  • It is prevented if first dose is given before age 3 months and third dose not later than 8 months of age.
  • Infants with sever allergy to vaccine and latex rubber should not be given the vaccine.

Should the vaccine be given repeat dose if baby spits or vomits?

  • No, Rotavirus vaccine need not to be administered if child spits or vomits after vaccine. 
  • The subsequent doses given as per schedule.
  • Some manufacturers recommend repeat dose especially that of RV1.

Here we have discussed about Rotavirus. For more details you can visit us at Here
Disclaimer : This is just general information regarding the rotavirus vaccine and your doctors consultation should be done before coming to conclusion. 

Dr Yatin Bhole MBBS DCh DNB

Bhole Children Clinic

Pediatrician in Ravet, Pimpri-Chinchwad

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