Vaccines are an important part of protecting children’s health, but like any medication, they can cause side effects.
These can vary depending on the immunization, but many of the more common side effects are shared by most if not all vaccines.
– Hepatitis B vaccine is usually given to infants (even newborns). It can occasionally cause fever and local soreness one to two days after being received.
– DTaP is a combination of diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis vaccines. It is usually given in infancy, toddlerhood and before a child starts school.
Up to 25% of children get local redness, tenderness, swelling and soreness where the shot is given. About the same amount get a fever.
These come and go one to three days after it is given. They are more common after the fourth and fifth ones are given. About 1/3 of children are fussy afterward.
– IPV (Inactivated Polio Vaccine) is given to infants, toddlers and before school. It will occasionally cause local soreness.
– Prevnar, or PCV13, is given in infancy to prevent a type of bacterial meningitis. About 80% of children will be fussy or irritable for a few days after it is given.
One-half will be drowsy, have decreased appetite, and have local redness and tenderness. One out of three kids will have local swelling. The same number will have mild fever. About 5% will have a fever greater than 102.2 degrees.
– Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine) is given in infancy and early toddlerhood to prevent another type of bacterial meningitis. It can occasionally cause some local redness, swelling, warmth and fever.
– Rotavirus vaccine is a live-culture immunization that is given orally. It can occasionally cause irritability as well as some mild diarrhea and vomiting.
– Varivax (chickenpox vaccine), a live-virus immunization given as a shot, is usually given at a year of age and before preschool.
Up to 1/3 will have local soreness or swelling. About 10% will have fever. About 4% will have a mild rash of up to a month.
While the rare side effects from vaccines can sometimes be severe, the risks of immunizing are much lower than the risks from the diseases that they help prevent.
The most common side effects consist mostly of local reactions or flu-like symptoms.
Call a health care provider for serious allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis or hives, seizures, fevers of 105 degrees or greater, respiratory or gastrointestinal distress, or any other post-vaccination concerns.