Common side effects after an immunization After an immunisation, your baby may cry for a little while, but that usually settles soon with a breastfeed or a cuddle. Most babies don’t have any other reaction.
Reactions at the site of the injection Some babies have some swelling, redness or a small hard lump where the injection was given and it may be tender. This usually only lasts a few days and doesn’t need any medical treatment.
A fever is a temperature over 37.5°C
If your baby has a fever after an immunisation: make sure they don’t have too much clothing or bedding on them, and
6-in-1 vaccine, given as a single jab containing vaccines to protect against six separate diseases: diphtheria; tetanus; whooping cough (pertussis); polio; Haemophilus influenzae type b, known as Hib, a bacterial infection that can cause severe pneumonia or meningitis in young children; and hepatitis B
6-in-1 vaccine, second dose
Rotavirus vaccine, second dose
6-in-1 vaccine, third dose
Pneumococcal (PCV) vaccine, second dose
MenB vaccine second dose
Hib/MenC vaccine, given as a single jab containing vaccines against meningitis C (first dose) and Hib (fourth dose)
Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, given as a single jab
Pneumococcal (PCV) vaccine, third dose
MenB vaccine, third dose
2 to 8 years (including children in reception class and school years 1 to 4)
Children’s flu vaccine (annual)
3 years and 4 months
Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, second dose
4-in-1 pre-school booster, given as a single jab containing vaccines against: diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis) and polio
12-13 years (girls only)
HPV vaccine, which protects against cervical cancer – two injections given 6-12 months apart
3-in-1 teenage booster, given as a single jab containing vaccines against diphtheria, tetanus and polio
MenACWY vaccine, given as a single jab containing vaccines against meningitis A, C, W and Y
These vaccinations are offered on the NHS in addition to the routine programme to “at-risk” groups of babies and children
Protects against: chickenpox
Who needs it: siblings of children who have suppressed immune systems and are susceptible to chickenpox, for example, because they’re having cancer treatment or have had an organ transplant.
Given: from one year of age upwards. Children receive two doses of chickenpox vaccine given four to eight weeks apart.
BCG (tuberculosis) vaccination
Protects against: tuberculosis (TB)
Who needs it: babies and children who have a high chance of coming into contact with tuberculosis
Given: from birth to 16 years of age
Protects against: flu
Who needs it: children with certain medical conditions or a weakened immune system, which may put them at risk of complications from flu
Given: for children between the ages of six months and two years as a single jab every year in September/November.
For children aged two to 17 years of age as a nasal spray every year in September/November
Hepatitis B vaccination
Protects against: hepatitis B
Who needs it: children at high risk of exposure to hepatitis B, and babies born to infected mothers
Given: at any age, as four doses are given over 12 months – a baby born to a mother infected with hepatitis B will be offered a dose at birth, one month of age, two months of age and one year of age.
Common side effects after the MenB immunisation
Fever can be expected after any vaccination but is very common when the MenB vaccine is given. The good news is that this fever shows the baby’s body is responding to the vaccine, although not getting a fever doesn’t mean it hasn’t worked.
The level of fever depends on each individual baby and does not reflect how well the vaccine has worked. Giving liquid paracetamol will reduce the risk of fever, irritability and general discomfort (including pain at the site of the injection) after vaccination.
After each of the two MenB immunisations, you will need to give your baby a total of three doses of paracetamol (2.5ml of infant paracetamol 120mg/5ml suspension) to help prevent and reduce any potential fever.
Common side effects after the MMR immunisation
MMR is made up of three different vaccines/immunisations (measles, mumps and rubella) and each can each cause reactions at different times after the injection.
If you are worried about your child, trust your instincts. Speak to your doctor or call the NHS on 111.
Call the doctor immediately if, at any time, your child has a temperature of 39-40°C or above, or has a fit.
If the surgery is closed and you can’t contact your doctor, trust your instincts and go to the nearest hospital with an emergency department.
If you are still worried about your baby’s reaction to any vaccination, speak to your practice nurse or GP.
Before vaccines are introduced, they have to be licensed by the Medical and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency which assesses their safety and efficacy.
Once they have been introduced into the programme of scheduled immunisations on the NHS, their safety continues to be constantly monitored so that any new side effects are quickly noticed and investigated.
If you would like more information on the safety of vaccines/immunisations visit –
Here is a link to information on side effects –
Can I take my baby swimming around their immunisations
You can take your baby swimming at any age, both before and after they have been vaccinated. It doesn’t matter if they haven’t yet completed their course of vaccinations.
Last reviewed August 2018. Next review December 2018.