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Why do babies get post-immunisation fevers?

Answered by Dawn Kelly
8th September 2015
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Vaccines have a good safety profile. However, some children will experience side effects and a common one of these is a mild fever.

Vaccines work with the body’s natural defences to build immunity to a disease or infection by spurring the immune system to create antibodies and “memory” cells. If your child is then in contact with the infection or disease, these are what their body will use to fight it.

Because a vaccine is “fake” infection, it doesn’t cause the full-blown illness but can occasionally lead to mild symptoms, such as a fever. A fever does not mean your child has caught the disease from the vaccination itself.

There is a chance of fever with the following vaccines:

  • Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio and Haemophilus influenzae type b  (DTaP/IPV/Hib)
  • Pneumococcal vaccine (PCV)
  • Meningitis and septicaemia caused by meningococcal group C bacteria (MenC Vaccine)
  • Hib/MenC booster
  • Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)

It is important to remember that while a fever may be distressing for you and your little one, vaccines have a good safety profile, and are one of the best ways to protect your child’s health.


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