CDC revises guidelines on rotavirus vaccines

February 18, 2009

Dosing requirements for infant rotavirus vaccines were modified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, enabling more babies to be immunized.

Dosing requirements for infant rotavirus vaccines were modified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, enabling more babies to be immunized.

Following the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the second rotavirus vaccine (RV1, Rotarix) in April 2008, this latest guideline from the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) was published in the Feb. 6 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: Recommendations and Reports. Following are revisions to the version released in 2006:

  • 14 weeks and 6 days is the maximum age for the first dose (was 12 weeks)

  • 8 months is the maximum age for the last dose (was 32 weeks)

  • Any maximum interval between doses has been removed (previously no more than 10 weeks between doses)

  • Vaccination is still acceptable even in infants receiving blood products (previous version deferred vaccination for 42 days after receipt of an antibody-containing product, if possible)

The new CDC guidance does not favor one vaccine over the other. In addition to Rotarix, a pentavalent vaccine (RV5, RotaTeq) is also approved. The guideline urges that booster doses be from the same product as the original dose, if possible.

"However, vaccination should not be deferred because the product used for a previous dose(s) is not available or is unknown. In these situations, the provider should continue or complete the series with the product available," according to the guideline.

Any other recommendations from the 2006 guideline are still intact.

For reference, visit www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview.