Thimerosal Content and Other ConcernsParents who are concerned about exposing their children to thimerosal can be confident that this vaccine contains no thimerosal (a mercury-containing preservative), not even in trace amounts. Some parents are concerned about aluminum content of vaccines; this vaccine contains no aluminum.
This vaccine is not made from human fetal components, as some vaccines are. It is, however, grown on a line of monkey kidney cells.
Who Makes Rotarix?
Rotarix is made by GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals.
How Does Rotarix Work?
This vaccine is a live attenuated vaccine. This means that it contains the living virus which has been altered in such a way as to prevent it from actually causing disease. However, the body's immune system still responds to it, providing future protection from the disease.
In general, live vaccines provide better protection from infections (compared to other types of vaccines) but can, in rare cases, actually cause the disease, particularly in people who have very weakened immune systems.
When and How to Get Vaccinated
Some general considerations include the following:
- This vaccine is given as two doses, given at least four weeks apart. This simple dosing schedule is flexible enough to coincide nicely with standard well-baby visits.
- The second dose should be given before the child turns six months old.
- This is one of the few vaccines that are given by mouth (not as an injection).
- If your child spits out some or all of the vaccine, a replacement dose may be recommended.
- There are no dietary restrictions; your child may eat or drink as usual (including breastfeeding) before and after the vaccine.
- Children can be vaccinated if they have a minor illness, such as the common cold. However, the vaccine should be postponed if the child is moderately or severely ill.