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Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe gastroenteritis in infants and young children worldwide. Before initiation of the immunization program in 2006, nearly every child in the United States was infected with rotavirus by age 5 years. Severe dehydrating gastroenteritis caused by rotavirus occurred primarily among children aged 4-23 months. Rotavirus illness in children ranges from mild, watery diarrhea of limited duration to severe diarrhea with vomiting and fever than can result in dehydration with shock, electrolyte imbalance, and death.

There are two rotavirus vaccines licensed for use in the U.S. Both are administered orally; one is given in a 3-dose series at ages 2, 4, and 6 months, and the other in a 2-dose series at ages 2 and 4 months.

The minimum age for dose 1 of rotavirus vaccine is 6 weeks; the maximum age for dose 1 is 14 weeks and 6 days. Vaccination should not be initiated for infants aged 15 weeks and 0 days or older because of insufficient data on safety of dose 1 of rotavirus vaccine in older infants. The minimum interval between doses of rotavirus vaccine is 4 weeks. All doses should be administered by age 8 months and 0 days.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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