Dosing and administration

When is RotaTeq given?

Your baby will get 3 doses of RotaTeq during your baby’s well visits.

Dose 3 of RotaTeq® (Rotavirus Vaccine, Live, Oral, Pentavalent) Must Be Completed By the Time Your Baby Is 32 Weeks Old (8 Months)
RotaTeq® (Rotavirus Vaccine, Live, Oral, Pentavalent) Is Given by Mouth in Three Doses, Which Will Usually Be Delivered During Your Baby's Well VIsits

How is RotaTeq given?

Your baby’s health care provider will gently squeeze the vaccine into your baby's mouth. Your baby may spit out some, or all, of it. If this happens, don’t worry—this is common, and the dose does not need to be given again during that visit.

Watch the video below to see how it is given.

What if your baby misses a dose of RotaTeq?

If your baby misses a dose or you are not able to go to a planned visit for their next dose, ask your baby's doctor for advice. They will tell you when to bring your baby for their next dose. All 3 doses of the vaccine should be given to your baby by the time they are 32 weeks old (8 months).

If you forget or are not able to make it at the planned time, talk to your doctor about how to move forward and help protect your baby.

Want to learn more about RotaTeq and prepare to talk with your baby’s doctor?

What If Your Baby MIsses a Dose of RotaTeq® (Rotavirus Vaccine, Live, Oral, Pentavalent)?

Actor Portrayal

What is RotaTeq?

RotaTeq is an oral vaccine used to help prevent rotavirus infection in children. Rotavirus infection can cause fever, vomiting, and diarrhea that can be severe and can lead to loss of body fluids (dehydration), hospitalization, and even death in some children. RotaTeq may not fully protect all children that get the vaccine, and if your child already has the virus it will not help them.

RotaTeq is not a shot; the vaccine is given by mouth. Your child will receive 3 doses of the vaccine. The first dose is given when your child is 6 to 12 weeks of age, the second dose is given 4 to 10 weeks later, and the third dose is given 4 to 10 weeks after the second dose. The last (third) dose should be given to your child by 32 weeks of age.

Important Safety Information

RotaTeq may not fully protect all children who get the vaccine.

RotaTeq should not be given to infants who are allergic to any part of the vaccine.

Your child should not get RotaTeq if he or she has Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disease (SCID).

Your child should not get RotaTeq if he or she has ever had intussusception, a form of blockage in the intestines.

The most common side effects reported after taking RotaTeq were diarrhea, vomiting, fever, runny nose and sore throat, wheezing or coughing, and ear infection.

Other reported side effects include: hives; Kawasaki disease (a serious condition that can affect the heart, symptoms may include fever, rash, red eyes, red mouth, swollen glands, swollen hands and feet, and if untreated, can be life threatening).

Call your child’s doctor or go to the emergency department right away if your child has any of the following problems after getting RotaTeq® (Rotavirus Vaccine, Live, Oral, Pentavalent), even if it has been several weeks since the last dose, because these may be signs of a serious problem called intussusception:

  • bad vomiting
  • bad diarrhea
  • severe stomach pain
  • blood in the stool.

Intussusception happens when a part of the intestine gets blocked or twisted. Since FDA approval, reports of infants with intussusception following RotaTeq have been received by the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Intussusception occurred days and sometimes weeks after vaccination. Some infants needed hospitalization, surgery on their intestines, or a special enema to treat this problem. Death due to intussusception has occurred. A study conducted after approval of RotaTeq showed an increased risk of intussusception in the 21 days after the first dose of RotaTeq, but especially in the first 7 days.

There are some important things your doctor needs to know about your baby. Tell your doctor if your baby:

  • Is sick with fever, diarrhea, or vomiting
  • Is not growing or gaining weight as expected
  • Has a weakened immune system from a disease (such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, or a blood disorder) or from medicine (such as steroids)
  • Has received a blood transfusion or blood products recently
  • Was born with gastrointestinal problems, had a blockage, or had abdominal surgery

The spread of vaccine virus to non-vaccinated contacts has been reported. Tell your doctor if you have someone in your household who has a weak immune system, cancer, or is taking medications that can weaken the immune system so that your doctor can provide further advice.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA.

Visit or call 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects to the Merck National Service Center at 1-800-444-2080.

Please read the accompanying Patient Information for RotaTeq and discuss it with your doctor. The physician Prescribing Information also is available.