Side Effects of Vaccines in Babies
The side effects of vaccines in babies has always been a matter of discussion. Although most specialists recommend the use of vaccines, there are some who reject them.
Knowing the side effects of vaccines is important so that parents can make a decision about scheduling them.
Vaccines are designed to prevent diseases. The controversy surrounding them is generated because most are created from the virus that causes the condition itself.
However, the use of vaccines has led to a drop in deadly diseases that were once common.
As soon as a baby is born, it’s important to protect his health. Vaccines fulfill this function for diseases that can be fatal by preventing infection from an early age.
That’s why it’s so important to discuss vaccines during each visit to the pediatrician.
An important part of your medical consultation with a pediatrician is to validate whether your baby is up-to-date on vaccines.
The schedule of vaccinations depends on the child’s age and development. In some cases, there are vaccines that require more than one dose to be effective and strong.
The basic vaccines that every baby must rely on prevent seven childhood diseases, which are:
- Whooping cough
- Hepatitis B
- Hib and pneumococcal disease (the cause of bacterial and viral meningitis, respectively)
From the second month of age, all vaccines can be scheduled. The reinforcements take place every two or four months after that, depending on the indications.
In the case of DTap (Diptheria / Tetanus / Whooping Cough) and Poliomyelitis vaccines, they are reinforced up to the ages of 4-6 years.
Vaccines must be given under strict supervision of a specialist doctor, who also ensures they’re manufactured by an authorized laboratory.
What are the side effects of vaccines in babies?
Vaccines don’t always cause some kind of reaction in babies. In many cases, everything depends on the child’s immune system and tolerance to vaccines.
The effects can be classified as mild, moderate and complex.
The most common reactions are fever, swelling or pain where the vaccine was given, and irritability.
Some children also experience a loss of appetite. These cases, which are considered mild effects, are treated with NSAIDs.
Moderate reactions may include fevers equal to or greater than 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
They may last for more than 5 days, with the presence of continuous crying for three hours or more.
As part of the more complex side effects of vaccines, there may be seizures or loss of consciousness.
How to counteract the side effects of vaccines
In case of any unexpected reaction after a vaccine, it’s advisable to consult with your pediatrician.
However, there are common treatments that can help minimize the basic effects.
- In the event of fever. If it’s discomfort or a mild fever, home care can be given, including wet wipes on the forehead. Bathing the baby also lowers body temperature.
If the fever is high, you should give the treatment indicated by a doctor. Most of the time it’s treated with an antipyretic (NSAID).
Some doctors recommend giving a dose of this medicine as a preventative even if there is no fever.
Infections, pain, discomfort
- In the event of swelling or infection. The area where the vaccine was given usually becomes red. In these cases, a cold compress can be applied to minimize discomfort.
If there is a lump or swelling, it shouldn’t be touched. It will disappear on its own. In case of an abscess, consult with a doctor.
- In the event of pain or discomfort. In general, the arm or leg where the vaccine was given is a little sore, and this causes irritation or moodiness in children. It’s advisable to put the baby to rest and avoid touching the painful area.
When any of the reactions considered moderate or complex emerge, you should ask for help immediately. Rapid medical attention guarantees the child’s progress.
- Only specialists. Vaccines must be provided under the strict supervision of a specialist doctor, who also ensures they’ve been manufactured by an authorized laboratory. In the same way, hygienic procedures must be followed during dosing.
- Medical indication. Pediatricians are the only ones who can indicate when it’s time to vaccinate a baby. Some children don’t meet all the conditions to be vaccinated, either by their characteristics or by having a transient illness.
With all this information, you can surely form an opinion on the subject.
The more you know, the more tools you have for deciding what is best for your baby.
In addition, of course, it’s always good to get the opinion of a professional.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Benedicto A. La supuesta asociación entre la vacuna triple vírica y el autismo
y el rechazo a la vacunación. Gac Sanit. 2012;26(4):366–371. Disponible en: https://scielo.isciii.es/pdf/gs/v26n4/especial1.pdf.