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Vaccination against rotavirus
Before the availability of rotavirus vaccines (available since 2006), rotaviruses were the most common cause of vomiting diarrhea (gastroenteritis) in infants and young children. At that time, 2,900 to 4,400 children were admitted to hospital in Austria every year for rotavirus diarrhea. Since vaccination was first introduced, the rate of hospital admissions for rotavirus disease has decreased by 90 percent.
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They caused almost half of all diarrheal illnesses in this age group. The pathogen is usually transmitted by smear infection (faecal-oral), rarely by droplet infection.
The incubation time for rotavirus infections is 24 to 72 hours. Then vomiting, diarrhea and often also fever (possibly also earache) occur. The younger the children are, the more severe the disease is. Diarrhea and vomiting can quickly lead to dehydration, especially in babies and young children. The oral vaccination against rotavirus protects over 70 percent against rotavirus diarrhea and over 90 percent against severe rotavirus diarrhea.
- Child vaccination: The vaccination against rotavirus is included in the free vaccination program. It is an oral vaccination that should be administered as soon as possible from the age of 6 weeks. All infants should receive either two or three doses, depending on the vaccine used, with a minimum of four weeks between doses. In the case of two doses, the series of vaccinations must be completed at the latest when the infant is 24 weeks old, with three doses at the latest at 32 weeks.
- The vaccination is not intended for children over the above age limits (24th or 32nd week of life) and adults. Booster vaccinations are not provided.