Rotavirus Vaccine Injuries
and Adverse Reactions

How common are these injuries?

Rotavirus vaccine injuries and adverse reactions do happen when incorrectly administered. If you have suffered an injury, learn more about the VICP here.

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What is the rotavirus vaccine?

An oral vaccine, Rotarix is given in two (2) doses at two (2) months and four (4) months of age to prevent the rotavirus infection. The RotaTeq vaccine is a three (3) dose vaccine given at two (2) months, four (4) months, and six (6) months of age. Typically, the first dose of the Rotavirus vaccine should be administered to children before they are 15 weeks old, and older children should receive the second dose of the vaccine dosage before they are eight (8) months old.


How does a rotavirus vaccine injury happen?

Rotavirus vaccination is a risk factor for intussusception. The first FDA approved and widely used rotavirus vaccine (tetravalent human-rhesus rotavirus reassortant vaccine, RRV-TV, RotaShield, approved 1998) was withdrawn from the market due to a significant increased risk of intussusception (1 case for every 4500 to 9500 infants vaccinated). The two currently available vaccines have a lower risk, but in published studies there is evidence that the vaccines continue to be associated with an increased risk of this adverse event.


Rotavirus vaccine side effects in infants

The most notable adverse event following a Rotavirus vaccine is intussusception. Intussusception is an intestinal disorder in which the bowel invaginates upon itself (telescoping of the bowel). It can bring on severe abdominal pain, watery diarrhea and can lead to infection. Though intussusception can occur at any age, it most commonly occurs during infancy and early childhood (2). The peak age period in a young child which this severe illness occurs is between 6 to 24 months.

Recently, My Vaccine Lawyer's founding partner Max Muller was interviewed by NBC Philadelphia about Rotavirus vaccine reactions along with the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, a federal compensation program for vaccine injuries in the United States.

NBC 10 Investigators - Max Muller of My Vaccine Lawyer-1


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Rotavirus vaccine injury symptoms

There are no established criteria for diagnosis, however characteristic presenting symptoms and other adverse effects in addition to the pattern of pain are vomiting, runny nose, difficulty breathing, abdominal distention, severe diarrhea, and bloody or currant jelly stool. If the situation progresses without therapy, worsening symptoms can develop including perforation of the bowel. The diagnosis is confirmed with abdominal imaging, most frequently ultrasound. In the most common type of intussusception in children, ileocolic, the diagnosis can be confirmed with a contrast enema study.


Treatment for a rotavirus vaccine injury

Once the diagnosis of intussusception is made, urgent treatment is required to correct the abnormality. If there are no signs of bowel perforation, nonoperative enema treatment can be used. If there are signs of perforation in the bowel or other serious side effects, the intussusception is out of reach of the enema, or the enema is not successful, surgery may be necessary.


How to report a vaccine injury

In the wake of a rotavirus oral vaccine reaction, you should immediately notify your doctor's office. Be sure to provide the date of vaccination, the vaccine administrator’s information and the site of injection (i.e., left or right arm.) Your medical provider will ensure that you begin a course of treatment to best address your symptoms. Additionally, you should:

  • Call your doctor as some vaccine injuries can be life-threatening if left untreated;
  • Tell your doctor exactly what happened, the date and time of your vaccine (or booster dose), and which serious adverse events occurred;
  • Ask your doctor to file a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System ("VAERS") form.
  • Hire a vaccine injury attorney to protect your rights and ensure potential financial compensation.

VAERS stands for the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, which is a program managed by the CDC. The program processes submitted reports of vaccine injuries and adverse events from those who have been injured. It is not to bring a traditional civil lawsuit against any vaccine manufacturers. It is important to note that VAERS does not diagnose those who have been injured with a vaccine injury, but rather compile data about reported adverse reactions from immunization practices for the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration in hopes of improving vaccine safety measures in the future. There are no restrictions to who can file a VAERS report and it is often used as supplemental evidence in vaccine cases when determining the onset of an injury or symptoms.


Compensation for Rotavirus vaccine injuries

If you or a loved one suffered a severe allergic reaction, illness or injury after receiving a Rotavirus vaccine, you may qualify for compensation from a government program called the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. It is important to note that there is no charge for your case evaluation, so contact us today and speak directly with one of our industry leading vaccine injury attorneys.


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Page last reviewed and updated: February 10, 2021

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