Dr Ison – Vaccine Side Effects in Older Children

Vaccines are an important component of a child’s health care. Severe side effects from them are thankfully rare.

Some purported things that are attributed to them are even non-existent. Still, there are common side effects from them that can occur and are helpful to know.

  •  Side effects from the influenza vaccine usually occur within 1-2 days after it is given. The injection site may become, sore, red, and swollen. Eyes may become red, itchy, and watery.

It is possible to get fever, hoarseness, cough, achiness, headache, fatigue and itching with it.

  •  The hepatitis A vaccine’s side effects also usually happen within 1-2 days after it is given. There can be local soreness and redness. A person can also get headache, tiredness, and a low-grade fever afterwards.
  •  The MMR vaccine is given to prevent measles, mumps and rubella (also known as German measles). It is a live-virus vaccine.

The side effects it causes usually occur 6-14 days after it is given. Less than 20% get a fever with it. About 5% can get a mild (measles-like) rash. Less than 2% may get swelling of glands in the head or neck.

  •  Tdap is a tetanus booster that is given to older children and adults. It is similar to the DTaP vaccine given to infants and younger children, but it has less diphtheria and acellular pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine in it.

About three out of four people receiving this immunization may have some local pain at the injection site. Only about 20% get local redness or swelling, though.

About 4% of adolescents will get some mild fever and 25% may have gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and stomachache.

About one in three of those receiving it may have tiredness and body aches, 30%-40% may have a headache and 10% may have chills.

  • Human Papillomavirus vaccine (HPV, or Gardasil-9) is given to prevent cervical, penile, and other cancers. Injection site soreness is very common (90% of people).

About one in three will also have redness of the site and may get a headache. Only 10% will get a mild fever (higher fevers only occur about 1.5% of the time).

Fainting can sometimes occur within 15 minutes of receiving the vaccine, but this is probably from the needle stick instead of the actual vaccine.

Immunizations are important. Their side effects are generally much less severe than the symptoms of the diseases they help prevent.