Vaccine Side Effects
A vaccine side effect can be defined as an "adverse reaction" to a vaccine.Most vaccines have some "local" side effects such as pain, redness, swelling, or a small lump at the site of injection. These side effects usually resolve in a few days, although lumps may take weeks or longer to resolve. Occasionally, vaccines may have some "general" side-effects such as fever, headache, muscle aches and pains, or a rash - these side effects may be caused by the vaccine or may be symptoms of a coincidental illness (e.g. viral infection). Again, these side effects usually resolve in a few days (unless they were caused by a coincidental illness). Rarely, in about 1 in every million vaccinations, a vaccine causes asevere allergic reaction called "anaphylaxis", that begin minutes after the vaccination and includes symptoms such as severe anxiety, hives (itchy skin rash), swelling of the lips and face, difficulty breathing, or collapse. The treatment for anaphylaxis is the immediate injection of adrenaline, which stops the allergic reaction.
If a vaccine side effect occurs following one of a series of vaccinations, then, unless the side effect was severe, the series of vaccinations should be completed. If you are concerned about completing a series of vaccinations after a vaccine side effect, then consult your immunisation provider.
To reduce pain from vaccinations:
- Give paracetamol – do not exceed the recommended maximum dosage on the label. Doses of paracetamol should not usually be given less than 4 hours apart.
- Place a cold, wet cloth over the injection site for pain, redness, or swelling. Note that some infants may not move a limb while the injection site is painful – this will resolve as the pain disappears.
To reduce fever from vaccinations:
- Give extra fluids (e.g. more breast feeds or water) to prevent dehydration.
- Cool the child slowly by removing extra clothing or fanning. Bathing in cool water is not recommended because it may cause shivering, which can increase the core body temperature.
- Give paracetamol (see above).
If you are concerned about any symptoms that occur after vaccination, contact your doctor, community nurse, local hospital or HealthDirect on (Free Call) 1800 022 222.
The information in the above were collected from the internet,
either from government websites or from reasonably reliable health information sources.
They are for general information only and should not replace the need of seeking medical care during illnesses.