Infants should be immunized against rotavirus with RotaTeq (Merck) or Rotarix (GlaxoSmithKline) vaccine unless they have a history of intussusception.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a contraindication in July for use of RotaTeq live attenuated oral rotavirus vaccine in infants with history of intussusception, following an identical contraindication for use of Rotarix live attenuated oral rotavirus vaccine in February. Rotarix carries a corollary contraindication for history of uncorrected congenital malformation of the gastrointestinal tract that would predispose the infant to intussusception.

Rotavirus is the leading cause of severe gastroenteritis in the first five years of life, infecting 80% of children in this age range. One in seven children requires medical assistance, one in 70 is hospitalized and one in 200,000 dies.

RotaTeq and Rotarix are the only vaccines licensed in the United States to prevent severe rotavirus disease. RotaTeq is an attenuated, live oral vaccine comprised of five...

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