Some of the common reactions reported after immunisation are fever, tenderness, swelling and redness at the site of the injection.
If you are concerned about your child after their immunisation, contact your family doctor or nurse. You can also call Healthline 0800 611 116.
Here are some ways to make your baby or child more comfortable.
Give your child lots of cuddles and lots of fluids. If breastfeeding, give lots of feeds.
If your child gets hot, undressing them down to a single layer, for example a singlet and pants, can help. Make sure the room is not too hot or too cold.
Medication for temperature or pain
If your child is unsettled, miserable because of the fever, or seems to be in pain, you might consider giving them paracetamol or ibuprofen to make them feel more comfortable. You must follow the dosage instructions on the bottle. It is dangerous to give more than the recommended dose.
Routinely giving babies and children paracetamol before and repeatedly after immunisation just in case they feel unwell is not recommended. There is some evidence that paracetamol may reduce the effectiveness of childhood vaccinations.
An ice pack wrapped well in a dry cloth, or better still a cool cloth, can be held over the injection site if it is sore.
Very rarely, a child will have a febrile convulsion or a fit following immunisation.
If your child is having a convulsion:
- don’t put anything in your child’s mouth
- don’t put your child into a bath or shower to cool down
- call your doctor, nurse or Healthline.
There is no easy way to prevent a febrile convulsion. Keep your child cool and comfortable if they have a fever.