Every vaccine comes with a risk, and many children have minor side effects after receiving a vaccine.
But when is a side effect serious? When should you get your child to the doctor?
Most vaccine side effects are short lived
There are many vaccines children when they are young and are preparing to go to school. This includes vaccines for MMR, varicella, Tdap, D-TaP and others. With all of these vaccines, your child can get minor side effects. Usually, these last just a few days. Depending on the type of vaccine, side effects can include anything from a low fever to soreness where they received the vaccine.
Go to the doctor if your child has serious side effects
Side effects will vary for each type of vaccine. However, you should seek medical attention if your child experiences side effects for a prolonged period of time or if your child is experiencing:
- Reduced consciousness or coma
- An allergic reaction
- Loss of hearing or sight
- Reduced cognitive skills, which could indicate a brain injury
- Severe pain where the shot was given
For more information about specific vaccines and their side effects, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides extensive information on their website. This can help you understand your child's symptoms and what they may mean.
What you can do if your child is injured by a vaccine
In very rare cases, vaccines can cause serious, lasting injuries to children. Your first step should be to see a doctor and make sure your child gets the medical attention he or she needs.
You may be able to bring a claim to help you secure compensation for your child's injury. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program provides compensation to individuals in the U.S. who have been injured by a vaccine. An attorney with experience handling these types of claims can guide you through the process.