After having the vaccine there may be side effects, but these are usually mild.
Any reactions are generally minor and disappear within a few days. The vaccine doesn't contain live bacteria and can't cause an infection.
Vaccines protect your baby against the risk of very serious infections and should not be delayed.
Fever can be expected after any vaccination. Fevers are usually mild, so you only need to give a dose of infant paracetamol if your child isn’t comfortable or is unwell. Read the instructions on the bottle very carefully.
Fever is more common when the MenB vaccine is given with the other routine vaccines at 8 and 16 weeks. Infant paracetamol should be given to babies after each of these immunisation appointments.
Public Health Scotland’s booklet What to expect after immunisations: Babies and children up to 5 years has more information.
In infants who do develop a fever after vaccination, the fever tends to peak around 6 hours after vaccination and is nearly always gone completely within 2 days.
Ibuprofen can be used to treat a fever and other post-vaccination reactions. Giving ibuprofen at the time of vaccination to prevent a fever is not effective.
Remember, never give medicines that contain aspirin to children under 16.
Information about treating a fever in children.
If an infant still has a fever 48 hours after vaccination or if parents are concerned about their infant’s health at any time, they should seek advice from their GP or NHS 111.
The diseases vaccines protect against are very serious and therefore vaccination should not be delayed because of concerns about post-vaccination fever.
If you're worried about your child, trust your instincts. Speak to your GP or phone the 111 service.
Phone your GP immediately if, at any time, your child has a temperature of 39°C or above, or has a fit. If your GP practice is closed, phone the 111 service.
Won’t giving my baby the MMR and pneumococcal vaccines at the same time overload their immune system?
No. Your baby’s immune system can and does easily cope with the MMR and pneumococcal vaccines at the same time.
From birth, a babies’ immune systems protect them from the germs that surround them. Without this protection, babies wouldn't be able to cope with the tens of thousands of bacteria and viruses that cover our skin, nose, throat and intestines at all times. This protection carries on throughout life. In theory, a baby could respond effectively to around 10,000 vaccines at any time.
Where can I report suspected side effects?
You can report suspected side effects of vaccines and medicines through the Yellow Card Scheme.
This can be done by:
- visiting the Yellow Card Scheme website
- phoning the free Yellow Card hotline on 0808 100 3352 (available Monday to Friday, 10.00am to 2.00pm)