After the introduction of the vaccine, an immunity is formed that protects the child from infectious diseases and related complications. This is the desired and expected response. But it also happens that after vaccination, side reactions occur, that is, undesirable and not the goal of vaccination.
They are usually divided into local and general. The first occur at the site of the vaccine, the second affect the entire body.
In most cases, those and others are completely harmless and do not require any intervention: The body independently copes with them in literally 2-3 days.
The most common variant of the local reaction is redness, induration, tenderness, swelling of the skin in the place where the needle was injected. These are signs of inflammation, which occurs because the injection violates the integrity of the skin and an alien substance enters the body.
The more “outsiders” penetrate inside, the stronger it is.
Often the cause of such reactions is the drug itself. The fact is that inflammation is a defensive reaction, and it occurs when any foreign substances enter our organs.
For this reason, if the vaccine is a drop (such as, for example, a polio vaccine), signs of conjunctivitis, rhinitis, or cough may appear.
Sometimes vaccine makers deliberately seek to cause a local reaction and include special substances that enhance the immune response – adjuvants. After all, the more active inflammation occurs, the more immune system cells become acquainted with the implanted “agent”, which means that the desired immune response is formed better.
As a rule, adjuvants are used in inactivated (“dead”) vaccines, as the organism reacts to live vaccines rather strongly. Such vaccines include DTP, ADS, and hepatitis A and B vaccines.
In the absolute majority of cases, after a maximum of 2-3 days, such manifestations disappear on their own. If they persist longer and greatly disturb the baby, it makes sense to consult a pediatrician.
He will recommend ointments or creams that promote the resorption of seals and relieve inflammation, as well as cough or rhinitis remedies.
Common vaccine reactions include fever, sleep disturbance, appetite, malaise, drowsiness or lethargy, moodiness, headache. Nothing wrong with that.
A slight increase in temperature means that the immune system has reacted to the “newcomer” and is actively fighting it. And while the thermometer does not “go off scale” at 38.5 ° C, no child should be given antipyretic drugs.
If the situation has not returned to normal within 2-3 days or the temperature remains high after taking the medicine, the baby’s condition worsens, it is necessary to call an ambulance. In this case, doctors talk about the post-vaccination form of an infection (for example, post-vaccination poliomyelitis, post-vaccination measles, etc.).
Usually such complications develop either with the use of a low-quality vaccine or with vaccination against a background of weakened immunity.
Therefore, to avoid complications, vaccinations are made only to healthy children. A child should not have fever, copious runny nose, diarrhea, exacerbation of chronic, including skin diseases. And do not rush to make up for vaccines missed due to illness immediately after recovery, when the child’s body has not fully recovered.
In addition, it is better not to vaccinate at a time when someone from the baby’s family is sick.
Since the temperature rise may be asymptomatic, especially in young children, the doctor usually recommends measuring it 2-3 times a day for 2-3 days after vaccination and closely monitor the behavior of the baby, his sleep and appetite.
The time of onset of the general reaction and the degree of its expression depends on the type of vaccine. For example, after DTP vaccination, the temperature rises, as a rule, during the first day, then it normalizes.
A measles vaccine can lead to the same reaction at 6-12 days, and after vaccination against parotitis, it happens that a similar phenomenon occurs at 8-16 days. But in 2-3 days the state of health is normalized.
If this does not happen, consult a doctor.
It is impossible to predict the appearance of adverse reactions and the degree of their severity, because they reflect the individual characteristics of the organism.
Allergic reactions to the vaccine are very rare. These include pronounced swelling and redness of the skin at the injection site, a sharp jump in body temperature, the appearance of a rash. The reason is the increased sensitivity of the baby to the protein components of the vaccine.
Here we must take into account that antihistamines prevent an allergic reaction and do not affect the temperature rise in response to the introduction of the vaccine. Healthy children who are not predisposed to allergies, preparation for vaccination with the help of such medicines is not needed.
Most vaccines have been used for decades, so experts know exactly what side reactions they can start after. For example, the rubella vaccine cannot provoke gastritis, but at the same time in 5% of cases it can cause short-term swelling of the joints.