Skip to main content

Side effects of immunizations and how to manage side effects

In Audio Job Aid 2, Elena, who is a frontline worker, has just run into her friend, Sofia, who is carrying her 4-month-old baby. Sofia has some concerns about side effects of immunization, so Elena does her best to explain that vaccines are very safe but sometimes children experience side effects, which are very minor compared to falling ill to the diseases that vaccines protect against.

Key messages in AJA 2:

  • Common side effects from vaccines include slight pain the moment the needle goes in and after receiving a vaccination, a mild fever or maybe redness or swelling where the needle goes in. This is all normal.
  • These things go away by themselves. Putting a clean, cool, damp cloth on it or giving paracetamol to lower the fever also can help. Paracetamol should only be given in the case of a high fever following immunization and only the minimum dose appropriate for your child’s size should be given.
  • All such discomfort or tenderness or soreness at the injection site is minor compared to the serious diseases being prevented through this vaccine.
  • Vaccines have been extensively tested by scientists and doctors and are extremely safe. Every day, all over the world, babies safely receive multiple immunizations.
2. Side effects of immunizations