Every vaccine has different reactions
At the appointment, your vaccinator will let you know what reactions to look out for. This will help you know what to expect.
For example, some tamariki or adults may develop a fever or a mild rash. This is an expected response after some vaccines, and usually does not last long. It does not mean your child is sick.
If you click on the different vaccines listed on the National Immunisation Schedule you can learn about specific reactions associated with each vaccine.
National Immunisation Schedule
How to treat common reactions in children
Some ways you can make your child more comfortable after their vaccination include:
- If their arm or leg is sore from the injection, put a wet cloth or ice pack (wrapped in a dry cloth) on it. Do not rub the injection site.
- If they have a fever, keep your child hydrated. Provide them with lots of water to drink. If breastfeeding, give your child lots of feeds.
- If your child gets too hot, reduce the amount of clothing they are wearing.
- Give your child lots of cuddles.
Give paracetamol or ibuprofen as advised by your doctor, nurse, or healthcare provider.
If you have concerns about symptoms after a vaccine
If you have a concern about a reaction after an immunisation:
- talk to your doctor, nurse, or trusted healthcare provider
- call Healthline on 0800 611 116 anytime
Serious reactions are rare, but can include:
- wheezing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- pinkish, itchy swellings on the skin, also called hives or nettlerash
- swelling of the face, lips, tongue which may cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing, or
- swelling of other parts of the body.
Call 111 and make sure you tell them what vaccine was given.
Reporting side effects
If you, or your child, experience any side effects after a vaccine, you can report them to the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM).
Report a side effect
After access to clean water, immunisation is the most effective health intervention in the world for saving lives.
As well as reducing the risk of getting really sick, there are many other benefits to immunisation.
The benefits of immunisation
All vaccines used in Aotearoa New Zealand have been tested for safety and effectiveness.
It’s normal to feel cautious, especially when you’re making a decision about the health of your tamariki, but the benefits to your child of getting vaccinated are much greater than the risks that come with getting the disease if they’re not.