Rotavirus Vaccine Injury Overview

Rotavirus is a contagious virus that causes nausea and diarrhea, and is the leading cause of severe infectious diarrhea in children. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend vaccination against rotavirus for most children before eight months of age. According to the CDC, “Most children (about 9 out of 10) who get the vaccine will be protected from severe rotavirus disease. About 7 out of 10 children will be protected from rotavirus disease of any severity.” But, while the vaccine is generally safe for most children, getting vaccinated against rotavirus carries certain risks. Parents whose children have been diagnosed with a rotavirus vaccine injury should consult with a vaccine lawyer promptly.

Approved Rotavirus Vaccines and Recommended Vaccination Schedules

There are currently two rotavirus vaccines approved for use in the United States. For both vaccines, the CDC recommends that children receive their first dose before 15 weeks of age and their final dose before eight months. The specific vaccination schedules are as follows:

  • Rotarix® (RV1) - Two doses administered at two and four months of age.
  • RotaTeq® (RV5) - Three doses administered at two, four and six months of age.

While most childhood vaccines are administered through injection into the thigh or shoulder, vaccinations administered to protect against rotavirus are administered orally.

Injury Risks Associated with Rotavirus Vaccines

Intussusception is a serious condition in which part of the intestine slides into an adjacent part of the intestine, which blocks food or fluid from passing through. Intussusception may also cut off the blood supply to the part of the affected intestine. This can lead to tears in the bowel, infection, and death of bowel tissue.

The most common injuries associated with rotavirus vaccines are severe allergic reaction and intussusception. As a result, the CDC indicates that children should not receive a rotavirus vaccine if they have experienced any of the following:

  • A severe (life-threatening) allergy to any component of the rotavirus vaccine
  • A severe (life-threatening) allergic reaction to an earlier dose of the rotavirus vaccine
  • Any history of intussusception

Mild side effects of vaccination against rotavirus may include irritability, temporary diarrhea and vomiting. If a child experiences any more-severe symptoms, the child should receive treatment for a potentially-serious rotavirus vaccine injury. While severe allergic reactions typically occur within minutes or hours of vaccination, it can take up to a week for symptoms to develop. Possible symptoms of severe allergic reactions and intussusception may include:

  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Runny nose
  • Abdominal distention
  • Severe diarrhea
  • Bloody or jelly-like stool
  • Loss of consciousness

Rotavirus Vaccine Injury Information for Parents

The costs of treating a severe allergic reaction or intussusception caused by the rotavirus vaccine can be substantial. Children diagnosed with these conditions may also experience prolonged pain and suffering; and, in the most severe cases, long-term or fatal complications.

Parents of children diagnosed with rotavirus vaccine injuries can seek financial compensation under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). The VICP pays for medical costs and other out of pocket expenses without proof of fault. While some VICP claims are decided at hearings before Special Masters of the Vaccine Program, most are resolved informally, without the need for further litigation.

Request a Free Consultation about Your Child’s Rotavirus Vaccine Injury Claim

If you would like to learn more about how to seek financial compensation for a rotavirus vaccine injury, contact The Law Offices of Durant & Associates today. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, call 202-800-1711 or request an appointment online.

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